Monday, 08 August 2016 13:14

More Words

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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In Matthew 12:35-37, Jesus challenges us to make good use of the words we speak: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (NKJV)

There are several types of social media that I utilize in association with The Meeting House radio show - there are two blogs that I write; one is The Front Room, which fea- tures devotional thoughts and commentary from the program. The other is The 3, with three stories of relevance to the Christian community. I also have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Each of these forms of media has their own unique advantages.


With Twitter, you can send a simple and effective message, and the 140-character limit forces you to be very direct in what you say. Through the use of hash tags and links, you are able to join a stream of information and hopefully have that information shared.


Well, there was a piece on the Bloomberg site that appeared several months ago that was intriguing. The article announced that Twitter users would be gaining “more freedom to compose longer messages.” It said at the time that that Twitter would soon “stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, accord- ing to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment.”

That announcement was confirmed about a week later by Twitter Senior Project Manager Todd Sherman on Twitter’s blog site. He wrote:
In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, so for in- stance, @names in replies and media attach- ments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters.
He also stated: “We’re ex- ploring ways to make existing uses easier and enable new ones, all without compromising the unique brevity and speed that make Twitter the best place for live commentary, connections, and conversations.”


So, soon, we Twitter users can write more - if you are putting a list of handles in a Tweet calling attention to certain others, that can use up valuable space, and those links and attachments also cut down on your verbage. So, we get more characters to work with - but, the question is, do we really need them?  How will people use those extra words we may get?

Twitter teaches us to keep things short and simple - you really have to think about how you say something lest you violate the 140-character limit. But, in Twitter, as in life, you have to wonder if too many words are necessarily a good thing.

When you’re using some forms of social media, you have to be a good steward of the words that you have, and this can pro- vide some practical discipline. Furthermore, if you’re thinking about what you will type as you type it, there is a chance that you can be more careful in what you post……or not. Have you ever posted something on social media and then after it had been circulated, had second thoughts about whether or not it was a good idea? Well, you can delete something, but in some cases, I would contend that the damage has already been seen.

Social media and our use of it can provide character lessons for us today. Je- sus taught us about the power of words - we can be justified or condemned by them. James gave stern warning about the power of the tongue. Proverbs teaches us about the relationship of the abundance of words to sin. A good “word” for us today is that we can place limitations on our usage of words, keeping in minds that it is possible to say too much.

Reliance on the Holy Spirit can enable us to control what we say.  He can help to shape what we say and how we say it. Words can be incredibly valuable to us and to others. Words can be powerful in express- ing ourselves, encouraging a person, and in providing insight and instruction. Words can also contain a power to express ourselves in a way we did not intend, or to tear down someone else, or to communicate incor- rectly. We have to make sure that we are good stewards of our words, consistent with God's Word.

Last modified on Monday, 08 August 2016 13:18
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