Reading: Psalm 64
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.
They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?”
They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.
The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in him! (NIV)
I originally wrote this post in the final days of an election campaign here in Canada. In the context of an election, the words of this psalm have a peculiar resonance. Politicians’ tongues have been sharpened like swords. Cruel words have been aimed at opponents like deadly arrows. The airwaves are saturated with lies, propaganda and half-truths coming from all sides.
Rest easy, dear reader, I’m not about to take sides in a political debate. But Psalm 64 contains some important truths that we would be wise to heed.
First, our tongues have deadly power. The poison of vipers is in the tongue. (See Psalm 140:3.) Many young people have taken their own lives because of the taunting of others. Social media has only worsened the situation, since one can now mount an attack from a distance. The venom that is often spewed in website comment boxes is beyond disgusting. The cruelty and depravity of the human heart are on full display. As the psalmist, David says, “Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.”
So then guard the thoughts of your heart and mind. Take care what you put into print. It can have a profound effect for good or evil. Cruel words can be as deadly as a missile strike. The LORD is our refuge from cruel taunts, but He also is our judge, when we launch a verbal or written attack.
Response: LORD God, help me to use wisdom and discretion in all I say, write or post. You are the judge of every idle word. Holy Spirit, guard my heart and my mind. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you been the victim of social media attacks? How did you respond?