The sermon today was entitled ‘Taming the tongue’, but it was the subtitle that caught my eye…the space between your mouth and mind. We are studying the book of James and my good friend Jayson is stretching his preaching muscles this fall in this book. To be honest, I don’t remember a ton of his sermon (sorry friend!) But it was his subtitle that made me think not so much about the mouth and mind, but the space between the mind and keyboard.
Blogging has gotten me in trouble more than once. Sometimes it has been because folks didn’t actually like what was in my mind/blog post, and a couple of times because I didn’t check the connection between mind and keyboard and totally overstepped my boundaries.
The reality is that it is easy to be brave behind a keyboard. A couple of quick taps and a press of the send button and off it goes into the wide world of the internet. It gives a false sense of courage. A sense of being untouchable. There is a disconnect between words typed and the ‘other’. There is less of a filter because we do not see the face to face reaction when our words land. There is now a term for folks who intentionally type words that inflame, defame or generally cause hurt, they are trolls. I’ve had a couple myself on my blog. They are people who use the anonymity of the internet to feel better about themselves.
The passage in James chapter 3 really got me thinking about words. The passage talks a lot about the power of the tongue, but I heard it as the power of the keyboard. How am I to live in such a way as to be mindful of this passage?
First, I need to always keep in mind the effect of what I post here on my family. Second, I need to maintain a balance between the honest wrestling of my mind and heart and the need to lay it all out there. But most importantly, I need to pay attention to that space between my mind and my keyboard.
That space is sacred, it gives balance and perspective. That space is where I can be reminded of the presence of God at work in me and the world.