Friday, March 20, 2009

Freedom of Speech

I have noticed a trend in internet circles. People can say whatever they want, however they want, and no one should be offended. We say things to people over the internet that (hopefully) we would never say face to face.
But is this "If you're offended, that's not my fault" attitude biblical?

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

~ Colossians 4:6

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

~ Ephesians 4:29

I think it's easy in the cyber world to forget that it is real people with real flesh and blood who read our typed words. People who may not know Christ, but who know that we do. It's easy to disregard their sensitivities (or discernment) and hurt feelings. But as Christians, can we really afford to do that? Can we afford to care so little about the testimony and witness we give of the Lord we say we serve?

May our words, spoken or typed, always be seasoned with grace, edifying to those who hear or read. May my own testimony bring God glory, and not cause others to stumble. On my own, I can do nothing well. Praise God that He is willing to speak and minister through me, if only I will let Him.


Nealy said...

A noble and worthy goal! We all fall short, but this is a timely reminder. "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my strength and my Redeemer."

If everyone knew and tried to live by the nine "fruits of the Spirit," our nation wouldn't be witnessing the lack of morals and ethics on the corporate level.

MamaMahnken said...

Well said, Ginger :)

Janice said...

I completely agree! It's one of the difficulties I find with internet relationships. I've been told several times that a person is just as blunt in person. I want to tell that person "no, you are just as RUDE in person", but of course, I'm not that blunt ;o)

Laura said...

Thank you for the reminder!

musicmommy3 said...

First of all, let me just say that I DO agree with you... However, do you think that people's skin tends to be a little too sensitive these days? It seems like people nowadays are offended about every little thing. I think there is a balance btwn the two. Yes, I think we should be careful what we say but on the other hand we should be slow to become angry or offended.

Just my 2 cents.

Lori in KY said...

Absolutely. Amen.

Ginger said...

MM3, my parents always told me: If someone is sensitive, you should be more careful not to hurt their feelings.
Here's what I have seen: Someone said something inappropriate. Someone else says that it's inappropriate and could you please be more careful with your words. Then a whole bunch of people jump to the defense of the one who was inappropriate in the first place. Because it's their right to say whatever they want to say.
Would that same thing happen in real life? I say something rude. Someone in the circle of friends says that I was rude and I hurt their feelings. Would everyone else in the circle then jump all over that person because I had every right to be rude?
I don't think so. But on the internet, the rules are all different. In this day and age, I don't think they should be. :)

Lori in kY said...

Just to clarify, my "Absolutely, Amen" comment above was to your post Ginger. I agree and I referenced your post on my blog this morning. Hope that's okay! :)

MM3, No, I don't think people's skin is any thinner now than ever. I think the internet allows more disconnect and we forget there are real people behind the words on the screen.

Kyle (Ginger's man) said...

It's not my problem if people are thin-skinned or overly sensitive. My problem is to make sure that if I have caused offense, falsely or otherwise, that I humble myself and apologize.

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! God reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."
-2 Cor. 5:16-18

musicmommy3 said...

I agree with what you said Kyle.

Ginger said...

What an awesome post, Lori! Very edifying! A good reminder of what I need to work on.

debhmom3 said...

I so think people are oversensitive, but you are correct that we should think before we type or talk. I am the biggest offender of offensive remarks. My problem is I would have no problem saying in person anything I say on the internet. I am a very blunt person who tends to speak first and think later. It's been a lifelong struggle. So, each day I'll get up and try again to get it right. I do try to go back and apologize for out of line comments, but many times that ends up too little, too late. God's still working on me. :)

The Herd said...

in response to Kyle(Ginger's Man)--well put. Sums it all up.

Graceful Threads said...

Enjoyed this post. A good reminder to all of us. Ya know the Bible talks about *outdoing* one another with honor?

Ginger said...

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.
-Romans 12:10

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
-Philippians 2:3-4

Graceful, if you're referring to a different verse, please share.

Graceful Threads said...

Roamns 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. , Outdo one another in showing honor.

You were right it is Romans 12:10 Only in the ESV.:-)

Lis said...

I have to be careful, as a forthright person, to make more of an effort when typing something, because if spoken, it would not be offensive, but when written, it comes across offensive b/c I am very to the point, and in writing someone cannot hear my tone of voice. So, I think in writing we have to be even more careful, because for me, it may not be what I am saying that is offensive, but how I am saying it, and tone of voice is hard to convey in writing.