Proverbs 21:23

The one who guards his mouth and tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.

What can happen when you not only fail to guard your mouth, but your online activity?

A high school coach takes a nude picture of himself and wishes to send it to his girlfriend, but instead of privately sending it over the internet, he posts it to his public Facebook profile.  The picture is live for all of ten minutes.  A parent sees the picture and reports the incident.  The story gets out and coach submits his resignation.  The school accepts it.  Then the story is blasted over the internet.

This is less of a response to what the coach did (though the underlying issues appear to be deep) and more of a heads-up to anyone working with students and online at the same time.

Facebook, twitter, blogs, etc are a wonderful means of ministering to students.  I see statuses and tweets about issues that most students would never actually say out loud.  Yet because they are public I get to talk with them about the issues they are facing.  I can see what they did over the weekend, who they are dating, who they like, and tons of other peoples honest opinions about them (tbh anyone?).

However, all those students who are posting pictures, statuses, tweets, places, and likes, are also seeing each and everything I post, update, or tweet.

Youth ministers, teachers, parents, and all others who influence youth: Take extreme caution when flippantly posting something online.  Guard your mouth.  Guard the things you post.  We have a powerful tool in the internet when it comes to social media, but if we’re not careful, it can be our downfall as it was for this man.

Find the story here.


About ronaldlong

Ronald is the Middle School Pastor at Wayside Chapel in San Antonio, TX. He has a beautiful wife named Bekah and three girls: Sophie, Penny and Ruth. He's the author of Awkward and Faker, two bible studies for students. Get more info about them at

One response »

  1. Brian says:

    While a digital post is a forever footprint, sometimes a flippant comment leaves a forever footprint on a student or parent. A good reminder that all that we say and do is remembered by someone, especially if it is hurtful.

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