Sweet Water and Bitter

Sweet Water and Bitter

“Praying everything will be okay.” This very statement was made by someone commenting on a Facebook post about an alleged threat made against a school in Limestone County, AL last week. While thankfully the threat turned out to be nothing of significance, there is a serious problem concerning the opening statement.

What can possibly be wrong with such a statement? Surely there is nothing wrong with saying that we are praying for a good outcome, is there? Normally, we would have to say absolutely not. The problem is what was stated by the commenter immediately before that. There seems to be a terrible lack of knowledge and respect by many people when it comes to spiritual matters. This person’s comments are, unfortunately, a perfect example of that.

Many of us who are around social media on a common basis see abbreviations in what seems to be every post. Things like “SMH”, “LOL” or “ROFL” are used very often and are very tame in what they stand for: shake my head, laugh out loud, and roll on floor laughing, respectively. Innocent enough, but the abbreviation the aforementioned commenter used was not. What they said would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap when I was young, coupled with a slap to the face or a swat to the backside, or both.

Unfortunately, we have become so accustomed to bad and disrespectful language that we are mostly immune to the reflex that we should have. It should cause us to blush and be disgusted, but it doesn’t anymore. When we see “WTH” (what the h _ _ _, for the fortunately unaware), it hardly even raises an eyebrow. That’s what the person stated, by the way. Right before their “prayer”.

Of course most people nowadays would laugh at us for being offended by it, but when the next phrase is “Pray everything will be okay”, nearly everyone can see the problem. Yet the person who wrote it apparently does not understand how disrespectful the comment was.

James wrote that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16 KJV). It must be said that the “praying” that this person did was neither effectual nor fervent, and unless the scriptures are wrong, not done by a righteous person. When one shows utter disrespect to God, how can one expect God to give respect to their prayers?

James also addresses this concept when dealing with the tongue. In chapter 3, he wrote about the tongue and how dangerous and untamed it can be. The tongue often works before the brain has time to completely process the information. The beautiful thing about the written word has always been that it gave the person writing time to carefully consider what it is he or she would put on paper. With today’s technology, paper is of course is a rarely used medium on which to “write”. Unfortunately, the hastily “written” word on social media has become the voice of many people and they do not take the time to consider what they are putting forth to be seen by others. The keyboard has become their “tongue” and “sweet water and bitter” (James 3:11) spews forth. It ought not to be so. ~B.W.P.