By Tami Heim, co-author of @stickyJesus
[This post is part of a conversation about the new book @stickyJesus: How to Live Out your Faith Online, now featured at the Patheos Book Club.]
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. ~ Matthew 12:36-27 , NIV
The idea that what you write and say doesn’t matter is simply not true. Your words carry with them the power to bring life and truth or take them both away.
A day doesn’t pass where your words aren’t influencing the thinking, behavior, or development of another person. You create, lead, and influence with the words you release. Think about the last words you deposited in lives of your spouse, kids, parents, friends, boss, colleagues, staff, or even the last comment you posted in a rambling digital stream of conversation.
Are you ready to be accountable for every one of them? Even the ones you easily dismiss as casual or insignificant?
With your words something begins or continues. A simple or brief post, tweet, text, or status update can have an immediate impact on someone’s day. When you deliberately select life-giving words and multiply them over time, God uses them to ignite life-change. Use discernment, be intentional, and rethink the value of each word you are about to give away.
7 Ways to ensure you breathe life into the words you release…
1. Acknowledge God. Make mention of Him often and speak of His presence in your life. People are seeking to be connected to something bigger and you’ve access to the biggest and best of all creation. Acknowledging Him often keeps you aware of His presence and your accountability. It is written: ‘as surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God. ~ Romans 14:11
2. Praise God in all things. Be quick to offer praise regardless of your circumstances. The drift of life changes, as He inhabits your praise. This attitude in all things transforms every situation. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father ~ James 3:9
3. Give thanks. Show gratitude and communicate your appreciation. ‘Thank you” affirms the value of people and the situations you encounter. Gratitude brings a spirit of calm and confidence to you and those around you. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6
4. Offer instruction. Share your knowledge and be helpful whenever you discover a need for what you know. Knowledge given is power amplified. If you have the answer or an important insight, contribute. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. ~ Colossians 3:16
5. Speak encouragement. Look for the good in situations, take the high road, and find ways to lift someone’s spirit. Practice being a lifter, not a leaner. Pay attention to those around you. Listen and help them see a possibility that might be too hard for them to see on their own. Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion ~ Philippians 2:11
6. Profess your faith. Don’t hesitate to let others know where you stand and what you believe. The faith many are searching for is living in you. Your passion and belief in what can’t readily be seen, may provide the wings another person needs to soar. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. ~ Romans 10:10
7. Share hope. Look for opportunities to share the story of your life and how different it is now that Christ consumes it. Be ready at all times to be the voice and hand of hope. You’re a brand new possibility in Christ – a light to be seen with truth to be heard. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. ~ Acts 1:8
What are some of the most life-giving words someone has spoken to you online?
Choose words that release a life-giving fragrance and impress a beautiful image on the souls of others. #LiveSticky