Whats App and "Mere Banter"
We may be appalled by some of the WhatsApp or other media that we hear off or even receive. Such things remind us what "sin" is all about.
One day all the sin of my life will also be revealed and I will beat my own heart in sorrow as I am similarly appalled at my own self. Who of us can point the finger in judgment at others? As Jesus said, let the one without sin cast the first stone.
Sometimes it is said that such things are mere "banter", mere banter. However, as President Putin is demonstrating, words are never "mere words" or mere banter. Words are powerful, always.
The book of James in the Bible reminds us that words are always important.
Words are Powerful, Never Mere Banter, even on WhatsApp
President Putin knows this. He is skilled at using words carefully to paint the picture he wishes. He knows that words shape our understanding of reality. So if words are used with craft, then outcomes are influenced. Every word on WhatsApp matters.
Words really can light a fire.
Words are Powerful for our Own Behaviour
But words also form our own behaviour as well as that of others. Much of our thinking is done in words and this is another reason why words are powerful.. This is how we hold ideas in our head. Our character and behaviour flows out of the words that dwell inside us. Words paint the way we see things. Words are like fireworks within, ready to go off. Who knows what will happen to that "mere banter". Words on WhatsApp today become actions tomorrow.
Words Shape us - Words are Powerful
Words shape our decisions. So we should all take care what words we use. "Mere banter" is never "mere". Banter today is action tomorrow.
Society tries to fix minds and attitudes with rules, regulations. As Christians we know that this is sticking plaster. Sticking plaster has its place but we need something deeper.
Words Transform Us Within
Change is what happens as the words of God sink into us. They transform us from within. This is part of what happens as we gather for worship regularly and use words (eg the Lord's Prayer and other prayers, like the Psalms.)
Psalm 23 for Lent
During Lent I invited us to join me in really letting one portion of the Bible really sink into your heart mind and soul: Psalm 23. This must be one of the best known passages in the Bible: :"The Lord is my shepherd...".
Let us keep meditating on passages like this in the Bible. Let us let such precious life-giving words drive out worthless mere banter. Words are powerful.
Words matter. Let us take them seriously. Really seriously. For words are powerful. Let's share good words on WhatsApp. How about sharing Psalm 23?