Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:16 (NIV).
Sorry ahead of time: another rant. I get into many debates online, standing up for what I believe in (just as those who are on the opposite side do the same). I wish I could get back the countless hours and words I’ve expended online because I don’t think it has made much of a difference. It’s a good thing to let others know that you support them, that they have allies. Beyond that, I don’t see how my debating done much good. Indeed, I’m ashamed of many things I’ve said; many words were unkind at best, contrary to this faith I profess here. Hypocrisy: I’m guilty. Here endeth this rant as well.
We spend so much of our time these days talking about things that don’t really matter. Our news is comprised of celebrities, meaningless sports, banal entertainment, and opinions disguised as facts. Even worse, we gossip online; what else is social media but a new way of saying “look at me” or “did you hear about so & so?” Even worse still, we thrive on ‘the chew’ in person. Don’t believe me? Try breaking into a clique the next time you go to church. They’re there, just as exclusive as any schoolyard clique. And they talk. Boy do they talk! I mean…boy, do WE talk!
Welcome to the fallen world. It’s a world of godless chatter, of ancient tendencies and mis-behaviors given new life in person and online. The more we indulge in it, the more we sully the good words of Jesus, who is still alive in us, who rose and is still King of Kings, here in the fallen world. The more we do it, the more ungodly we become. We become hypocrites.
Paul’s advice? Avoid it. Stop it if it starts with us, or passes through us. But if we can’t effect it for good, then avoid it. Stop the gossip chain with you, or me. Gory TV? Switch channels. Political arguing? Back out of it. Better yet, pray for the other guy, and their candidate, and for our overall peace. Part of a clique? Go introduce yourself to the new guy. Maybe give him a cup of that free church coffee and a donut.
It was good advice in the time of Paul, when true persecution really happened quite often. It’s good advice here in the land of plenty, where we’re far from that kind of physical persecution…at least for now. Let that be on our list of things to do in our fallen world now that winter has come (and gone), and we’re in a fresh season of growing.
For further reading: 1 Timothy 1:20, 2 Timothy 2:17.
Lord, help me to avoid godless chatter, changing my ways for Your good purpose. Forgive me the ways I’ve failed You.