Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shepastor: “The Fine Art of Communication…”

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19 ESV

We are living in a hurried, fast pace, quick age. If you do not own or have access to a computer, an iphone, ipod or ipad (or something like it) you are almost lost. And while these new forms of technology have afforded us tremendous conveniences, some unfortunate byproducts of those conveniences have emerged.

Text messages, twitter and Facebook encourage users to put into print quick, short messages. While the writer may desire to share one message, unwittingly, unintentionally and frequently, other messages are perceived and or conveyed. You may have meant to communicate one thing, but the recipients, without the benefit of hearing tone of voice, viewing body language or clearly receiving overall context of what is being shared, may extract something altogether different than what you originally intended. When using these devises, individuals are less likely to take their time and prayerfully consider their words. Gaps of time before responses also may convey unintended messages. Angry words, flippant remarks and poorly constructed comments can create confusion and breaks in relationships.

The aforementioned modes of communication also give the allusion of anonymity. In other words, people feel freer to say things in text messages, on twitter and on Facebook that they would never say to a person face to face. While letters and telephones have been used in this way, these new forms of communication seem to have exaggerated this tendency.

This is not to demonize the advancing technologies… this is to raise some cautions, lest the devil gain an advantage over us…

Before texting, “twittering” or “facebooking,” ask yourself a few simple questions…

- If I were on the other side of this message, how what would I “hear?”
- Is this something I would say to a person face to face?
- Is this a “light” message that can quickly be conveyed or am I avoiding a conversation
- Does it really make sense to send a bunch of text messages when we could (and more probably should) talk to one another?
In this fast paced society, we are losing the beauty of real human-to-human contact. Let us take some time to pick up the phone and call someone. Every now and then, put pen to paper and write someone a letter. Every now and then go and pay someone a visit. There is a warmth, a charm, a beauty nestled into these increasingly perceived antiquated forms of communication that no text, twitter or FB message can deliver!

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris


  1. A message from one of my dear friends in response to this post(who is 92 years old)...

    "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction, the world will have a generation of idiots" Albert Einstein

  2. A thoughtful reflection upon the following this post...

    "The Fine Art of Communication..."

    Personal Reflection and Response:
    Given the fast technological evolve that we are now encountering, which will in no ways (my, Lord) slow down, we are challenged to not only practice the wise charge to be "slow to speak" and "fast to hear," but also "slow to read & reply." A great deal of misconstruence also rests in our failure to reflect on what we are reading. We make the same mistake when reading biblical text.

    Considering the overwhelming pace of society and its rapid decline in inter-relational ethics, it behooves us to yes, return to more traditional means of communication (for relational sake) and in the interim, explore and invest in social networking etiquette (I am still learning).

    Yes, there are many who use FB, Text and other social-communicative interventions as their "personal soapbox," just as clergy have historically used the pulpit. Both are passive-aggressive behaviors and can harm budding relationships due to compromised trust. Yet there are those who use it as an open invitation for deeper explorative dialogue. Someone will add thought and/or experience to a posted statement, and for the most part, will share his or her personal views without demonizing the author for posting his or her own. While the author has the responsibility of effective relay and clarification of what was written, he or she can not change the process of inference; hence the need for more face-to-face dialogue.

    Whatever one's reason (or agenda) for using FB, it is a social networking system, a forum for personal expression and creative freedom used by millions. When used wisely and maturely, FB can potentially lead souls to Christ, promote reconciliation amongst the [wrongly] estranged, and even challenge us towards transformation while encouraging us through painful transitions. Some of my greatest inspiration has come via FB and text messaging.

    On a personal note for ownership purposes (with a very sincere heart), I will never post anything I did not have the courage to articulate "face-to-face" (good point made in the article). I hold God-inspired thought and words sacredly... Have I ever posted something that was not God-inspired? Yes. And by conviction, deleted it most immediately! Since then, I have been cautious yet intentional in what I share.

    If fewer people are bothered by what is written, yet most are helped by it, there's a strong likelihood that the problem lies not within the post, but rather the person or people. In which case, I can only grant clarity and some form of consolation for my part in the misunderstanding.

    Something I try to assess when engaging texts and/or posts however, are 1-Credibility: is there any truth in this?, 2- Context: is this generally stated?, 3-Construct: Am I missing something? and 4- Clarity: Should I ask for clarity before responding. This practice however, is defaulted by emotive reaction over an informed response.

    I'm enjoying your weekly articles.

    KB Jenkins