In light of everything else going on in the world today, it is barely a story. Ten kids who had been accepted into Harvard made some really dumb choices about what to post and say in a Facebook chat room. Then Harvard rescinded their offers.
But if you read the headlines, you would think that their lives were “ruined.” Please. To suggest that their lives are ruined is… a stretch. Ten really smart kids with great grade point averages and high SAT scores are going to be ok. In fact, they will probably be better off…if they gain wisdom from their mistake.
It is best to learn this universal truth when you are young – actions have consequences!
Careless words on social media are not just harmless speech in an alternate reality. They will be used against you. The comments and pictures they shared were racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and promoted pedophilia and suicide. And Harvard held them accountable.
Good advice for kids hasn’t changed in 3,000 years. In Proverbs 4, the wise teacher gives advice to his son. Here are a few excerpts, but the chapter is worth a read:
- My child, listen closely to my teachings and learn common sense.
- Be wise and learn good sense…
- Don’t follow the bad example of cruel and evil people… Stay away from them.
- Carefully guard your thoughts…
Wisdom is not easily learned. It involves a few hard knocks.
While these kids are, no doubt, exceptionally bright, this week they earned a little wisdom…if they learn from their mistakes. We hope the wisdom gained today will stick with them as future elected officials, doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc. Careless words have consequences.
The Bible is clear that we will all be called into account for our careless words (Matthew 12:36). Specifically, we will be judged by whether we confessed Jesus as the Son of God or not. Does your speech foolishly mock God and His grace?
Christ is the only true forgiveness for all our sins. Be wise and learn that lesson while there is still time. With wise speech, confess Jesus as Lord and Savior today!