In Ephesians 4, Paul writes:
Instead, we will speak the truth in love growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of the body, the church. (Ephesians 4:15)
Christians are to speak truth in love. And by doing so we become more like Christ. So…don’t tell lies. Okay! Simple enough.
Or is it that simple?
It’s a common experience to internet users that it is much easier to say some things through the digital media (email, blogs, Facebook, texting, etc.) than it is to say them face to face. Sometimes these are good things that we get too nervous to say in front of another human, like expressing our undying love to the one on whom we’ve had a crush for the last 3 years.
More often than not, however, these things we say online but not in person are more likely to be hurtful, offensive, controversial, and utterly tactless. Someone makes us mad so we post about it. We disagree with what someone wrote so we leave an anonymous comment. If we don’t censor ourselves we can end up saying some pretty messed up stuff that we will certainly regret.
Speaking truth in love. We’ve got that covered. We aren’t being ugly or rude to anyone face to face.
But let’s broaden this exhortation a bit. If we understand this verse to mean “communicate the truth in love,” well that just causes all sorts of problems. Now we have to be conscious of the statuses we post, the blogs we write, the comments we leave, and the Tweets we send.
Text the truth in love.
Blog the truth in love.
Tweet the truth in love.
How do you communicate? Well, make sure that you are communicating truth and doing it in love.
But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile him. (Matthew 15:18)
Again, let’s generalize that statement a bit more. The things that come off a person’s keyboard come from the heart. Or the things that come from a person’s cell phone come from the heart.
That nasty email you sent? That comes from the heart. That anonymous comment you left? That comes from the heart. That picture you posted? That link you shared? That status update? Those all come from the heart. And these are the things that defile a person.
What you communicate shows the world what kind of heart you have. Christians, let’s all do better about speaking/texting/blogging the truth in love.