Does the vast world of Internet communications overwhelm you? It confuses me! I have enjoyed going back to work and serving at the Denison Forum. I love to write blog posts, books and Bible studies. I will soon be doing some work with video as well. But I need to refine my skills. I have a Facebook page, complete with a wall and pictures and messages. I find my way there on occasion and do my best to respond to people. But to be honest, I can’t figure out who I’m talking to, who is seeing what conversations and the whole thing just makes me a little nervous. And don’t get me started on Twitter. That thing is touchy! The shift button is right under the “return” button on my computer’s keyboard. I can be typing along, intending to capitalize a word, accidentally hit the enter and off goes my tweet! There is no way to take it back. No way to say, “hey, I didn’t mean to send that yet!”
In case you haven’t noticed, I can tend to be wordy….except on a tweet. If you can’t say it in 140 characters, you can’t tweet! The little box turns pink, like you have offended it or something. It stays pink until you delete enough letters to make it like you again. I’m thinking the Twitter group ought to up their number…make it an even 150 or 200 characters. I could use a little more room. Last week I wrote a blog post after getting off my long plane ride from Italy. I was tired. I didn’t think about the fact my blog “tweets” automatically. The automatic tweet takes the first 140 characters of my blog and sends it to infinity and beyond. Imagine my surprise when I received last week’s tweet. It read, “What do you do when four o’clock in the morning feels like noon? I blog and drink ” THAT was 140 characters – no more room after that. I stared at my automatic tweet and shouted “coffee” – I drink coffee! The rest of the world thinks I sit around and “drink.” Just 10 more characters would have made all the difference!
Words can travel at the speed of light! Our words can be sent from the privacy of our home – to faces we can’t see. In this world of Internet communication, our words have become more important than ever – and it is easy for our words to be casually, even carelessly given. My recent automatic tweet was a good reminder of that. (Although I have to admit, it provided a great deal of laughter at the office that day!)
Jim and I have adjusted our entire lives so that we can send God’s word out to as many people as possible. Our ministry exists to explain the Bible to people who are looking for God and apply it to their lives. We think that if the apostle Paul were alive today, he would consider the computer his greatest asset. Don’t you wish we could read “tweets” from Peter, Paul, Mark and Barnabus? At the same time, we know that once our words are out there – it is hard to take them back! So…we will proceed to write, Facebook and Tweet – but we will try to remember these words of caution:
Proverbs 21:23 – “He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself from calamity.” (She who counts her “Tweet” characters might do the same!)
Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Or read a blog, Bible study or e-mail.)
Ephesians 4:15 – “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ.” (That verse is our goal – and the reason we get up and head to the office every day.)
Join me on Facebook. I’ll try to find you! Sign up for tweets – I’m sure I’ll provide a few future laughs as well. Thank you for reading my blog. When God prompts, forward it to someone it might help. God’s word is a powerful “sword” and it is a privilege to send it out – to infinity and beyond!