Across the landscape of Christianity, particularly the U.S., Canada and Europe, we, may not be healthy enough, spiritually, to handle technology. For every ounce of energy exerted to win lost neighbors to Jesus, there is a ton of resistance birthed through electronic media…from Christians!
Below are ten ways to clean up communication. Read a more in-depth discussion about spiritual maturity and technology in the July/August 2014 Church Doctor Report.
Ten Ways to Clean up Communication
- Pray before you speak, write, tweet, blog—especially if you’re upset.
- Never listen to another person speak negatively about someone who is not present. (The term for this is gossip, which is a sin).
- No matter how communication comes to you, STOP-THINK-DECIDE. What is the spiritually healthy way to respond? Choose the form of your response proactively. Never just react by mimicking the way it came to you. Two wrongs don’t make it right. They make it worse.
- If someone offends you, follow Jesus’ direction in Matthew 18: (1) Go to the person and meet face to face. (This does not mean asking them to meet you on your turf. It could mean a neutral site for both). (2) If you don’t make progress, return a second time and take an objective, spiritually mature person with you. (3) If you still do not make progress, involve wise leaders from your church who have “the mind of Christ” and who are impartial.
- When interacting with other Christians, practice low control/high accountability. We are not called to “exercise lordship” over people, like the kings of the Gentiles, (Luke 22:25, ESV), but to “speak the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:15, NIV).
- Do not avoid sensitive issues with the excuse that you “don’t like conflict.” No normal person likes conflict. Christian behavior is not always about doing what you “like”.
- Never copy others about an issue you have with someone else. This is slander. Check out the Eighth Commandment.
- Focus on Christian charity when you have an issue with pastors and leaders. You are called to act with respect toward those who are in authority. This is a theme of the Fourth Commandment.
- Do not publicly criticize other ministries or visible Christian leaders. Contact them privately. Focus on loving corrections, repentance, forgiveness, rather than public criticism, judgmentalism, and a spirit of self-righteousness. Pray for others who mess up.
- As you speak the truth in love, start and end with appreciation for the positive. Don’t avoid hard subjects, but surround them with identified positives.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.