Friday, May 1, 2015

Week 3: Friday

Well....Here we are at another Friday!  As you go off to enjoy the weekend and to probably post on social media,  I want to give you some statements for self evaluation.

Read the statement below and then evaluate yourself based on the following scale.

"Never Ever"    "Once in a great while"    "Okay, I do this sometimes"    Yep, This describes me often."   "Yikes! I do that often."

I spend time each day on the Internet or social media sites.

I enjoy "liking" posts, leaving comments on blogs, or replying to what others have written online.

I enjoy posting and sharing my own thoughts online or on my social media accounts.

I say things privately online to someone that I probably would not say in person.

I type words publicly online that I probably would not say to someone's face.

I type a comment or thought online but then delete it before actually posting it because I am convicted it is wrong, or I am afraid it might look unkind.

I have had to delete Facebook comments, tweets, or other content I have put up online because I become convinced I shouldn't have said it in the first place.

I participate in online "fights" where people are commenting back and forth about an issue, opinion, or person.

*Not an online poster?  Think this doesn't apply to you?  Click here for an alternative self evaluation.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. It is easy to think we should comment immediately in the digital age. We don't need to, though. And we should never think we are compelled to respond.

    When Karen spoke of retracting it made me think of a situation in my first parish. A parishioner sent me a steaming email that read me the riot act from top to bottom. I had no idea this person was so unhappy about these issues that had never come up in a conversation before. Most of it stemmed from the fact that I was not like the last pastor of the church - a good priest who left the parish due to consistent ugly comments and a general lack of love from parishioners.

    I didn't respond and that evening he sent me an email stating he wanted to "retract" his email. I was humored. The words out of our mouths, and off our keyboards, are like squirting toothpaste out of the tube. Once they are out they can't be put back in. With Christians forgiveness is not an option. But forgiveness doesn't take away the pain our words often inflict.

    The "retraction email" caused me to think more about what I send out, especially to my parish. My method is to take an email and drop it into a Word document. (I've accidentally sent a response by accident before and don't want that to happen again).

    After making all of my comments or responses on Word I let it sit for at least an hour and pray about what I have stated. It's even better if I let it sit several hours or maybe overnight. This gives time for God to work in my mind, instead of using my words. We work on His schedule and not the other way around. I want God to sort out my emails.

    Usually I find words that are softer and less caustic when the response sits on the computer for a while. Sometimes I don't even send a response because I realize my response is a defense of myself and I don't like to defend myself. It is almost always perceived incorrectly when a minister goes on the defense. That is the best time to shut my mouth!

    When I do respond, after letting things sit and bathing them in prayer, there is always less chance that whatever I write or say will be offensive. It's interesting how God honors us with His presence when we ask His advice in prayer.

    This might be a good rule of thumb for all of us to follow before responding on social media. I have certainly been guilty of responding quickly in the past. And when that happens it is always possible to lack the grace of God - something I never wish to do.


    1. I agree John. I can't count the times that I have written an email response... then reedited... and reedited... and reedited... only in the end to never send it... or to end up with something completely different than what my immediate reactionary/emotional words were. Sometimes when that happens I think that I may have wasted hours on something that I could have written in 10 minutes... but thankfully taking that time has saved me problems on more than a few occasions.

  2. I found that I needed to change my use of social media. For a long time, specifically my Facebook feed, consisted of opinions/"news" that bogged me down and made me aggravated and angry. I decided that I needed to change, so I started to focus on content that was God, family or health related. Once I did that, my feed has become less anger inducing (though currently the Baltimore fiasco is filling up a once perfectly good feed). Its like that in life too, the more garbage we surround ourselves with, the more garbage we push onto others. However, if you fill your life with the good "Godly" stuff, you project that out.

    Garbage in, Garbage out.
    What goes in is found out.
    All can see what goes in me.

    -Tal & Acacia "Garbage In"