More and more I think the sentiment Jackie Hill Perry shares here is spot on. (See pic)
This post is mostly for my pastor friends, but it’s applicable across the board. If you’re posting to social media before you have said it to someone in person take a break… reconnect with real people and see your take in real time and relationship with others.
I can’t keep up with the number of times I thought I would post something but didn’t after talking with my family and friends. In fact, I started typing most of what I post in my notes app on my phone first, to read over it and weigh it. I even have a few friends, our ministry staff, and men in our church that I often run my thoughts by before sharing them publicly.
I don’t remember where I first heard this… but these are solid question to ask before saying or posting something:
- Does it need to be said?
- Does it need to be said right now?
- Am I the person who needs to say it?
And because of 1 Corinthians 13, I would add… 4. Is love expressed in what I’m saying? (The world is filled with clanging gongs, but is devoid of love expressed in words)
Preacher friends, I’ll be near the front of the line to admit the pressure I feel sometimes to post something, or address something, before others. There’s a fleeting reward for being at the front of the line, and a great risk of fueling your pride and of being wrong.
I know all to well the pressure to make sure people know where you stand on issues before they begin to wonder what your silence means.
The pressure is real to say something because your people are going to “like” and “share”someone’s post, so it might as well be yours.
I think our sister here brings up a solid point. “What if our words stayed at home first?” It’s ok if we don’t say something about everything for everyone to hear. In fact she’s right that our posts aren’t as monumental as they feel.
And I can’t help but extend her question to the church and our role as pastors… What if our words went to the congregation first?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t post anything… but I’m saying it’s good and right to quickly become slow in our speaking. After some time away with my family and with the Lord, I think that being slow to speak is one of the least valued virtues. It’s a sign of maturity. None of us are perfect, and we have to be willing to admit when we have rushed to words or judgment and been wrong. In fact, God has consistently used my failure in this area to humble me and mature my faith.
Pastors, tomorrow is Sunday morning. And preaching is the place and calling the Lord has given us to speak. Whatever you say: Say it from the Word, say it with conviction, say it for the glory of God and the souls of His people!