Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A truism of modern communication

How to begin.... What does one say when anger overtakes him? 
Frustration takes root alongside bitterness...

Several months ago I determined to quit Facebook, even to the point of a blog post over it( yet in the end I felt my justification was petty, and selfish.  But there are matters that Facebook and e-mail bring to bear on society and at times I really struggle over them (  The last time it was a FB Post with obscenities and so it was this time...

 Looking for discernment in a virtual world...  I guess you could say that I am struggling with the old Christian tightrope of being "in the world, but not of it"  (1 John 2:15) And as I struggle I begin to recall the words of the Psalmist, Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (42:5) And being reminded of Him who is the Sovereign reminds me of how quickly I fall back to believing the great lie.

What is that great lie?  Why – It’s the lie that says I shouldn't be frustrated, that I should have everything wrapped around my fingers. The lie that, in Satan’s words, "You will be like God" and I recall in my humility the words of Psalm 42 again, "These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival." (42:4)

I have been a deacon in the church.  I have preached His Word.  I have counseled the downhearted, the sick.  …Yet I am nothing.  It was all Him who works effectually within me (Gal 2:8).  But I the Psalmist did, and find myself in need of an attitude adjustment. 

I struggle as I see in me a form of hypocrisy and do not know how to reconcile it.  Here are the 2 great commandments:
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt 22:37-40) 

Yet in my day by day relationships I uncritically tolerate bad behavior and bad speech from my co-workers... while at the same time being quite critical of a niece's choice of picture to post...  And I ask myself - why?  I SHOULD love my neighbor (anyone I come across, according to Luke 10:29-37) as much as I love myself- as much as I love my family, as much as I love my niece, but I do not.  I don't hold my co-workers to the same standard as I do my family and I reckon that I should... 

I also wonder how I reconcile the idea of separation from wickedness with the ideas already presented.  It's easy spot a bad behavior or action and condemn it. It's not so easy to confront a loved one (and all OUGHT to be loved ones) in a loving manner.  So how am I doing?  Not so good lately!

And I'd like to blame it on the medium.  Truly, the modern sound bite text message world DOES place obstacles before our communicating in any manner, let alone lovingly.  And working in the world today, I have learned certain "rules" if you will, to do so... 

-          Never address an important email until it’s properly composed (you wouldn't want it to accidently be sent because of one errant keystroke!)

-          Never send a passionately written message until you have cooled down... for the same reason - Passion can get in the way of rational thinking. 

There are others.  But how to communicate lovingly - I don't have a rule for that... And I have yet to find a way to communicate adequately some things.  I believe that it may be a truism that some matters are ONLY communicated lovingly in person, period.  And therein we see the dilemma... We live in a cyber world where many of our friendships and relationships are rarely close enough physically to have that periodic visit over coffee or whatever and have caring heart to heart talks with one another. 

May the LORD grant discernment to us and may we patiently bear up under all circumstances. 

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