Idle Words

July 20, 2015

Chinwaggers-800pxA story traveling around the Internet goes something like this:  Here is a picture of a dog trapped in a vehicle on a (company name removed) parking lot, and when an assistant manager called the police, the assistant manager lost their job.  This has multiple thousands of “likes” and is shared by multiple thousands of people with comments, cursing, and swearing about this, assumed, awful company that would permit firing an employee for doing this good deed.

My question is: How can everyone who has “liked” or shared this post have personal knowledge of the incident?  The answer is, of course, that they can’t.  They just jump on the bandwagon happily smearing the reputation of a company that has become a target of scrutiny by many.
I have seen people who vigorously post their religious ideas and many Bible verses also post this kind of thing, and I ask you what category this type of posting falls in to?  If you believe the Bible, wouldn’t you have to accept that you might be bearing false witness?
I have made a practice of not sharing anything I have no personal knowledge of.  I was called to task once by someone over a post I had made, a post actually supportive of someone but still proven untrue, and that changed how I looked at such things.  The person, a popular children’s show host, was not actually a war hero, no matter how many times posts on Facebook reported it to be.  He was never even in the military.

Matt:12:36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment.

The Internet can be a powerful tool for good, but also for evil.  Be careful to make sure your words are true.  Do the background research before you post something, and make sure it is not giving a false impression or that it is not slanderous.  Many things that can seem harmless can fall into these categories and might influence decisions by others that could be detrimental to them.
We all say things at times that just slip out, or we have not thought them through, but a posting on the Internet can be researched and does not need to be an impulsive activity. Hold it up to the light of the commandment against bearing false witness, and make sure it passes the test.

Philippians:4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

~Kathy Sanny

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