January 18, 2022
August 24, 2021 | Jessica Benko
“Send all the good vibes!” or “Happy thoughts, please!”
You’ve probably heard these sentiments, or something similar, expressed before. Maybe you’ve even said them? On the surface, they seem harmless enough.
But are they?
Consider this: if the speaker is Christian, does it affect the meaning of the message?
I know someone who uses this phrase a lot. I see it frequently on social media, too. And it irks me. Every. Single. Time. Why? Because the person I know is intentional about using this secular verbiage, both online and in conversation. This person claims to be a Christian.
This is meant neither as a judgement about this person’s relationship with God nor their journey as a Christian. Rather, I see the use of this type of language as an opportunity to …
… Respond in a respectful and prayer-filled way;
… Consider the power of language in everyday settings, particularly within the context of being a Christian, and how I can use it to move God’s message forward;
… Be audacious!
We’re currently in the middle of the Audacity series. Pastor Mark has been highlighting examples of how God has called His people to live audaciously. It has inspired me to look within my own circumstances, and respond accordingly!
Sometimes, in more public settings, it almost feels bold to respond to the sentiments I noted earlier with, “I’ll be praying for ____!” The person didn’t ask for my prayers, after all. And I am by no means an expert on Scripture or (obviously) close to perfect with my own use of language. But, I also know “good vibes” and “happy thoughts from the universe” aren’t going to cut it. Only through Jesus, and prayer, can their problems be solved. So, as the Bible teaches, I choose to respond with prayer.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV).
We know language is powerful, and can be an effective tool at conveying God’s love and teachings for others. And although social media wasn’t around during biblical times, it has very relevant teachings on how to use our words today …
“From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced” (Proverbs 10:31, NIV).
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29, NIV).
So whether it’s the “prayer hands emoji,” words, a screenshot of an encouraging Bible verse or uplifting worship song, I want to be intentional about how I respond to requests for “good vibes” — regardless of whether the person is a Christian or not. Knowing how large the social media-verse is, and how impactful a respectful conversation can be, you never know who might hear/see your more “audacious” response. And just maybe, that someone will be inspired to learn more.