Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
What You Get Is Not What You See
Texts: Proverbs 17; 1 Corinthians 13:5–7; John 8:1–11; Proverbs 18, 19; Deuteronomy 24:10–22
Imagine getting into an argument with your spouse while watching TV. He makes a sarcastic comment. She fires back a critical word. He mumbles a swear word under his breath. She tosses out her own blue streak. Back and forth unkind words are lobbed as the volume increases. But wait! They are not alone. Somebody is listening. It’s not the kids or the neighbors. It’s their television set!
Samsung has now launched a TV with a built-in microphone on the remote control so that users can give voice commands without having to press buttons. Instead of telling your set that you want to watch Channel 24 or to turn up the volume, you simply speak your request. But there’s a wrinkle in the slick system.
“ ‘Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition,’ the policy states.” 
The company is quick to explain that it uses “industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption” so that personal information is not compromised. You can also disable the voice commands. But people are still wary that Big Brother is watching them more closely than ever before.
Actually, it’s all about money and increasing revenue for the entertainment industry. If your TV viewing habits are known, it will shape the type of ads that get sent your way. Does anybody really care if you have a fight with your spouse—except to possibly encourage you to buy a product to help your marriage?
God cares. And the Lord hears all of our words. Heaven doesn’t record our verbal exchanges in order to pitch slick deals at us. Our Creator knows that gossip, criticism, and cruel words only bring heartache. God notes every word we speak because it reveals whether we are on the path of life or death.
Jesus could have used harsh words when confronted with the woman caught in adultery. No other judge in the Universe could have rightfully put her in her place than Christ. But the Savior had no stones to throw; no verbal missiles to strike her already wounded heart.
With great tenderness, Jesus told the guilty woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11, NIV). The words of the Word who created the earth were full of “life, and that life was the light of all” humanity (John 1:4).
Someone is eavesdropping on your words. It’s not just your smartphone, boss, computer, kids, or television. It is One who speaks to your heart words that bring healing. Respond in kind. Take a moment to share a word of hope—even if you are speaking to your TV.
Video Clip: fox8
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