New Year’s resolutions can often be a fun and exciting start to the year. They are a great way to better ourselves. My weakness to address in 2017 didn’t materialize before January 1st. It became apparent the first morning of the year. I watched a video of Mariah Carey from her previous night’s performance – you’ve probably seen it. In many posts it is referred to as the death of her career. My initial reaction was to laugh at the craziness, but then I felt a knotting in my stomach and a vivid memory came to mind of a time in my life when I had been treated ruthlessly by gossip and those who took joy in my fall. Ouch. The sensitivity of that memory cut my reaction and replaced it with one of sympathy. I’m not a super fan pleading her case, but friends can you imagine being in her shoes for a moment? I would have wanted to crawl into a hole and wait it out until everyone forgot. The Internet is not that kind.
God took the moment to remind me of my reaction, my words, my thoughts, all being indicators of a bigger problem. You see, my heart is dark. I wish it wasn’t the case, but I struggle with unkind sentiments and thoughts, as well as the notion I’m better than others. Maybe you can relate? Do you experience those moments where your initial response is cruel laughter, gossip, or a mean thought? This all comes back to the heart. What is on the inside bubbles out and becomes displayed for everyone to see. Luke tells it like this “…What you say flows from what is in your heart” (6:45 NLT) James takes it further as he focuses on the connection between our words and evil/sin (James 3:2). If we could keep our mouths from trouble, we could be kept from trouble, too. I would add social media to the importance of spoken words. Cruelty seems to know no boundaries on social media.
Resolving to be more aware of the power in our words is daunting, but essential to true heart reform. This year, can we begin new? Would you consider making 2017 your most positive year on social media and with those around you? This doesn’t mean you can’t state your opinion or disagree with people, but how are you doing it? Where is your heart and mind while you are engaging others? I would encourage you to be fully aware as you speak and interact with everyone, give them the best of who you are, and in the process show them love and compassion they may not find anywhere else.