Social Media has a fairly new medium that is going to change how people engage with each other from now on. Twitter has a new app called Periscope.
Periscope is a live streaming app. People can engage with you during the broadcast and give you immediate feedback.
Periscope is like Twitter and Facebook in that you can see people that offer encouragement and hope, teach you things that you didn’t know, or they will post stuff that is not relevant to anyone and it sucks the life out of you. However, with all of your social media platforms you have one of two options. You can either add value to people’s lives or you can detract value from people’s lives. The choice is yours to make.
As Christians, we should want to add value to others. We want to encourage others but we also want to do our best to point them to Jesus. We are called to speak life.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Complaining and negativity are associated with death. This does not mean that you will never have a bad day. This does not mean that you will never suffer loss or be sick. This means that no matter what life throws at you, you get to choose how you respond to it. We can talk about suffering well in another post.
James 3:7-10 says, “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be.”
Words are powerful. Once said, you can never take them back. Every single word is an opportunity to bless or curse. When we become angry, yell, or become verbally abusive, we are no better than a venomous snake ready to strike if provoked.
This is something that God has been dealing me with. My reaction to a situation determines the words that will come out of my mouth. To be of great value and speak life into others, I have to keep guard over my heart and my mouth. We need to increase in patience and be slow to anger, slow to complain, slow to yell.
I call people that suck life out of you or detract value from you—vampires. Being around them drains you.
Don’t be a vampire.
If you listen to, hang out with, and meet people that add value to others, you will also become a person that adds value to others. It is hard to be a vampire when people are edifying you, encouraging you, and pointing you to Jesus.
We must guard our hearts and minds. We are called to point people to Jesus. This includes the vampires. It is not easy being around people that complain or simply just drain you, but nevertheless, we are called to be like Jesus in all situations. We don’t get to choose which situations we want to be like Jesus and which ones we don’t.
Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say that this was going to be easy. It takes being intentional. You have to determine that you are going to be a person that loves God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. That means taking up your cross and living like Jesus daily. Not easy. If it was easy, we would be able to rely on ourselves and get this knocked out. However, it is not easy and we have to depend on Jesus. We have faith that the Holy Spirit is going to give us wisdom and help us become more like Jesus in all of life.
As we grow in our likeness of Jesus, this also means that our words become like those of Jesus. You cannot grow in Jesus and speak death. Jesus was intentional about using his words to speak life and point others to his Father. We should be intentional about speaking life into others and pointing them to Jesus.
I know this is an area that I need to grow in. I know that I need to do a lot better. I need to do be quicker to hear and slower to speak.
May we be a people that speak life into others. Remember:
You are blessed to be a blessing!
God did not create you on accident. God was very intentional when He made you.
You were created on purpose, given a purpose for God’s purpose!
Jimmy Proulx is pastor of FaithPoint Community Church. He planted FaithPoint in 2011 in Warner Robins, GA. He has been married for thirteen years to his wonderful wife, Kristi. They have two awesome boys, Bryson, 5, and Luke, 3. They live in Byron, GA. Jimmy loves books and coffee—not in any specific order! Follow him on Twitter at @jimmyproulx.