Hit the “Backspace” Button

There is great power in our words. What we say can make a great difference in the lives of others – for good or for bad. In fact, one of the most discussed subjects in the Bible is how people use their words. Consider just a few samples:

  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21)
  • There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
  • I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak… (Matthew 12:36)
  • Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (Proverbs 21:23)
  • Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 29:20)
  • Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27)

The list could go on and on. The point is that how we use our words matters. They are powerful agents that we need to use wisely.

Yet, in our modern age, technology has made it even more difficult to speak in ways that honour God. For one, there are so many outlets to speak through (texting, email, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, blogs etc) that we tend to open our proverbial mouths more often than we should. Second, we can respond instantly to conversations via technology…not always a good thing, as our emotion often gets the better of us.

All of this to say, here is one modern-day application of Biblical wisdom: use the backspace button. Don’t send that accusing text. Don’t post that sarcastic comment. Don’t tweet what you are thinking and feeling right now. Instead, use the backspace button and un-type what you’ve typed. Give it some time, some thought, and some prayer.

I think if we listened to the classic advice to “think before you speak”, we would probably end up saying half of what we do. And that’s not a bad thing.

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