The other day I bumped into this American English idiom: LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS and it left me thinking about current settings in social media. This phrase simply means BEWARE OF UNGUARDED TALK. We are living in a world of uncensored social media which is highly populated with data miners and information diggers. It is suicidal for any individual, married couple, family, Church or even corporates and governments to leave their doors ajar in such a fragile environment. When marital doors are left ajar, that marriage is a recipe for disaster. When family doors are left ajar, that family is bound to disintegrate. When Church doors are left ajar, that Church will sooner or later have a credibility crisis. Wise individuals, wise couples, wise families and wise Church leaders and members deal with their issues under closed doors.
Truth be told, all humans have public life and private life to live. It is important to let what is private stay private because private issues are kept private for a good reason. Whilst social media platforms are good for a reason, we all need to be cautious when we use them. Washing dirty linen in public like taking marital, family or Church infirmities into the public arena may sound fashionable these days but it has long-term devastating consequences. Indulging in such malpractices will never achieve a WIN-LOSE outcome as some people may think but rather a LOSE-LOSE outcome where both become biggest losers.
Due to social media obsession, one wonders whether private life still exists. Good readers of the Bible will agree with me that some secrets are better kept away from our haters. Social media culture has a tendency to lure you to share everything about yourself and others. But once your private issues or the Church’s official secrets are in the public arena, its like you have opened a pandora box for everyone to viciously make their opinion of you and/or your Church. In other words social media amplifies the drama to levels you never imagined. The Bible says that we should not give the devil an opportunity or an open space, because if we do that, he will take over everything. Eve gave room to that old snake, the devil by sharing some juicy tidbits about the forbidden fruit and now we are in it together because we were born with this adamic nature which is prone to sin. Samson gave room to Delilah and trusted her with his valuable secrets to his anointing but she betrayed him by divulging everything to his enemies, the Philistines. A few lessons can be gleaned from Joseph’s attitude when he discovered that his wife-to-be: Mary was pregnant (This was just before the angel appeared to him). Matthew (1:19) says that Joseph did not want to expose her to public disgrace. He had in mind to divorce her quietly.
The writer of Proverbs (11:13) foresaw this social media madness when he said, “A talebearer/gossip betrays confidence by revealing secrets, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” TALEBEARERS may be equated to modern day hawkers or vendors (but have no hawker’s licence) who openly and publicly spread/broadcast damaging information about others. In religious circles such malicious talk is sugar-coated with the name of God. Cliches like brother so and so or sister so and so needs our prayers is usually what is aired first, then the rest is talebearing. I am of the opinion that there is no godly reason one could put forward to justify talebearing. Unfortunately talebearers thrive at their craft because of willing TALE HEARERS who tolerate them. If I were to punish these two culprits, I would hang the talebearer by the MOUTH and the tale hearer by the EAR. Please be warned that WHEN DOORS OF YOUR PRIVATE LIFE ARE LEFT AJAR, talebearers are ready to feed the social media with damaging information. Similarly, if you have an obsession with social media its time to have a SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX. I rest my case.