Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Watch Your Words!

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

The next six weeks in our country will be full of words. Promises. Taunts. Pledges. Boasts. Truth. Untruth. Mockery. Threats. Loyalty. Division. Hope. Despair. Fear. Faith. Unity. Encouragement. And, did I mention, Hope?

Many of these words will first appear online. And some will come from you. What will you say aloud to the world? 


Choose carefully. 

We all know the power of social media to stay connected to friends and family, to learn from those we may have yet to meet, and to share the creative side of life. But social media also offers a megaphone – will we use ours to spew and rant and rave? Or will we use our megaphone to share the truth and love of Christ to a world desperate for healing and hope?


What exactly would you like your posts to accomplish during that quick scroll by someone else’s fingers?


And is it even possible to be authentic on social media without going to either extreme – hiding our heads in the sand, or using our fingers to yell at people? 


I find that answering these six questions help me to decide what I will throw out there into the world wide web:

Six Questions

  1. What is my motive in posting this?  Am I bragging, sharing something best kept quiet, or provoking controversy?
  2. Is the content rooted in truth and my values? Am I sharing fake news, a false image of my life, or something that could reflect negatively on someone else?
  3. Is this post helpful? Does it celebrate, encourage, offer hope, give positive information, or even share humor (at no one’s expense)?
  4. Could this post be hurtful or harmful? Am I betraying a trust, sharing someone else’s news too soon, revealing family secrets, potentially endangering a child, or disobeying employee social rules?
  5. Will I cringe when this post pops up next month or next year? What would my future self say about what I’m considering making public today?
  6. Does this post give glory to God? Does my social media witness as a Christ-follower draw others to Him and His people?

Paul’s words to Timothy are perhaps appropriate for all of us in these days: “Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.” 2 Timothy 2.16 MSG


Will you join me in praying for our world and shining for Jesus especially in the weeks ahead? And, if necessary, use words. 


Watch Your Words - @LucindaSMcDowel on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the author of 15 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her award-winning books include Soul Strong, Life-Giving Choices, Dwelling Places, and Ordinary Graces. Lucinda, a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and AWSA, received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs monthly for ‘The Write Conversation.’ 

Whether coaching writers and speakers, pouring into young mamas, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. As a communications teacher, she has served on the faculty of Speak Up Conference, Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Florida Christian Writers Conference, Asheville Christian Writers Conference and co-directs the annual spiritual retreat reNEW – retreat for New England Writing & Speaking. Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, McDowell shares words from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com


  1. Great message. I have a note on my computer that reminds me to "PRAY FIRST" before writing. :-)

  2. Wonderful advice. Thank you for your message.

  3. I appreciate your words this morning, Lucinda. I'm reading "Before You Hit Send" by Emerson Eggerichs on the same subject. I think we all need to have many reminders to watch our words during this season, especially.

  4. Sounds great - I know the Lord will guard our tongues. Stay well Rebecca.

  5. Lucinda, a professor taught me years ago to ask three questions before saying anything:
    1. Is it true?
    2. Is it kind?
    3. Does it glorify God?
    Those questions have served me well.

    Thank you for this much needed reminder.

    1. Yes! Great list. And simple enough we can all follow. Thank you Diana.

  6. Amen! I adopted much of the advice on your list several years ago, and I no longer even receive political posts. :-)