One of the challenges of communicating in cyberspace is that we see the written word without the accompaniment of body language. While this is also true in regards to printed media, it presents a unique challenge when one is writing on a "social network". By this I mean we are in a situation where we can respond to one another at a level which generally is not possible when we are the readers of books, newspaper or magazine readers. Writing, reading and responding to blogs and comments is more like having a conversation but lacking the physical cues which we are wired to read.
Unable to hear the tone of the writer's voice, unable to see their facial expression and usually not knowing the person on a personal level means that it is easy to misinterpret a person's intent.
I've been blogging at CB for nearly four and a half years. During that time, I've learned a few things. One thing is that we are very diverse within the Body of Christ. All of us come from different backgrounds and experiences. We come from different cultures. Something I write may be interpreted in a completely different manner by someone who lives in a different country or even in a different part of the U.S.
We come from a variety of denominations. Some of us come from "traditional mainstream" backgrounds. Others of us come from pentecostal or charismatic backgrounds. Some of us discovered that we'd been involved with groups which we found to be in error. We have people who have lived under the yoke of legalism and people who have come from a background of what some people refer to as "easy grace".
Over the years, I have found it helpful to take a look at a blogger's profile and testimony. While some people write very brief ones, others write some extensive ones which help me understand a bit more about the person behind the blog or comment. I also like to take a look at other blogs or comments they have written. Is this useful in helping us get a clearer idea of what the blogger is trying to say and the tone in which they are saying it? I believe so. I have a very good friend here at CB that I might not have ever been friends with if I had not bothered to read their profile, testimony and any of their other writings. Their first blog caused one initial reaction but when I went back and read more about them, read more of their work, it put what they were saying into perspective. I was misinterpreting what they were trying to convey. Ah ha! That was what they really meant!
We are not always going to agree with everyone about everything even if they are Christians. This was a challenge in the early church and it is a challenge today. We can agree on John 3:16 however, for that is at the core of Christianity. We can agree that we ought to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and we need to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus said everything else hung upon those two laws. I believe that if we focus on getting those things right, a lot of our "differences" will seem a lot less important. We must never forget that as Christians, we are all a part of the Body of Christ.
But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.- 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 (NLT)
Holding a brother or sister in accountability demands that the holder knows the one they are holding accountable. Relationships by their very nature are at best messy and hard, but they are good.
[i]I'm still working on this lesson daily.[/i]
I remember once telling someone here on CB that I love the fact that they asked me "an odd question". They took offence and took it to mean that I was saying their questions were odd as in strange. But here in Ireland we use the word "Odd" to mean "occasional"
Yes we do need to take into account another's culture before we choose to be offended.
Took a lot of persuading before they believed I was not insulting them
You bring up an excellent point. Actually it is amazing that we do as well as we do with regard to communicating, here at CB. Also, this makes it all the more important for us bloggers to do our very best in the areas that we CAN CONTROL - like spelling errors and typos. - bibleguy64
thank you for you blog my sister. I want to publically say that this ministry has helped me grow along with the background of not just being in the military but my present employment around people of different areas of the world.. Im grateful still that this was apart of God's plan for my life and how it's bearing fruit to reach others for him. be blessed and have a great day, everyone...