Love Never Fails!

November 4, 2018

After the upset win over the Texas Longhorns last Saturday, Oklahoma State University Football Head Coach Mike Gundy responded to criticisms about him and his team on Twitter, saying that people who tweet are “keyboard instigators” who are ruining our country. Interestingly, Twitter loved it!

Twitter and all social media are done through a computer or a smartphone, usually hidden behind a Twitter username or handle. Negative comments are hurled at alarming rates by both sender and receiver, yet they remain faceless. I often wonder if a person would say those terrible things face to face to another person. Because it has become so impersonal, comments are often emotional, ugly and very hurtful. Consequently, they become “keyboard instigators,” defaming, misinforming, hurting, and creating chaos for an individual, a family, and a nation.

A “keyboard instigator” is an online gossip. A gossip is like a sniper who fires a bullet and kills a person, but nobody knows where it comes from. When Pope Gregory the Great put together the Seven Deadly Sins, he didn’t include gossip. It should now be included as the 8th deadly sin. Here are a couple of quotes from Scripture on this topic:

“The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (Jas 3:6-8).”

“You brood of vipers; how can you say good things when you are evil? For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak (Matt 12 34-36).”

Social media, tabloids, websites, and even our own words cultivate a “fake news” culture. We are blind to the harm our words can cause. We are blind to how it hurts us as well. This is the blindness that Jesus has shared with us through the Gospels these past few Sundays.

The cure for this blindness is in the Gospel this Sunday: Love God, love your neighbors, and love yourself! Love will never harm the beloved. As St. Paul says, “Love never fails.”

Kathryn Richards