For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Confession and A Commitment

It’s hard to admit when we might be wrong. Not that I would know, since I’m never wrong, but theoretically…for the rest of you. Seriously, it’s humbling to admit that maybe, possibly, you might be wrong about something. So here’s my confession:

Not that I’m saying I’ve been wrong about things I’ve said here (because again, as we’ve established, I’m never wrong!), however, I will admit that often I may be guilty of being wrong in motivation and method. Let me explain.

Sometimes I think there is a conspiracy out there to get my attention. Have you ever had that? All at once you’re hearing and reading the same thing from numerous sources. That happened to me in the last couple of days.

Our daily Bible readings this week included the center section of 2 Corinthians. In chapter 6, Paul is speaking of the nature of his ministry, which should be the goal of all our ministries, and he mentions that his ministry is done “by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love.” (2 Cor 6:6, ESV)

In putting this together, it seems obvious that we should be concerned about Spirit revealed knowledge of the truth and sharing that knowledge; but it must be couched in those other elements: purity, patience, kindness and genuine love. I admit that so often I’m so concerned about the truth that I overlook sharing in patiently, lovingly and kindly.

This is especially true of internet debates. It’s so easy to hear a quick quote from someone and then go off on the deep end criticizing and condemning when we don’t even know the whole story, or even the person behind the story.

So, here’s the conspiracy part. Even though it’s three months old, I just came across a video of a discussion between Mike Horton, Tim Keller and Matt Chandler about how Christians ought to disagree. They include a discussion of the internet debate mindset. It’s a great discussion, albeit humbling and challenging. Take a look:

Chandler, Horton, Keller on How to Disagree from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Then to top it off, as I was going to my blog site to draft this post, I saw a post from the Caffeinated Calvinist site dealing with this same basic issue (read here)

Man, talk about ganging up on a guy. So here’s the deal. I apologize for those times when I’ve been quick to judge, not getting facts right, maybe lumping too many into one big glob that I then attack. It’s not fair, it’s not loving or kind, and I should know better.

And I want to commit to try and do a better job in the future. I don’t intend to keep my mouth shut (that’s pretty much an impossibility). I plan to still be open and direct about things that are simply wrong, i.e. my last post about “undocumented” persons (thanks to my cousin Dwayne for pointing out the PC term). I will probably still stick my foot in my mouth (or keyboard as the case may be). But I will try my best to do so more thoughtfully, and with a more intentional effort to be kind and loving in the process.

The internet is both a blessing and a curse, as the boys in the video point out. Here’s hoping we can work on making it a more constructive and compassionate tool, instead of a bludgeoning device.


Meghan Smith said...

I've never seen anything untactful on this site but truthful just the same. If you learn better tact, definitely show me!

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Scott, Great post! In these last days I believe the Internet is playing an ever-increasing role in ministry, evangelism, and Bible teaching. You're right that all we do must be Spirit-led to be effective, for without Him we can do nothing. Paul talks about the "fruit," not the "fruits," of the Spirit, because you can't pick and choose which one you would like, and they all go together, united by love and faith. And that includes patience ("long-suffering" in the KJV, which is a more descriptive term reflecting how being patient with others sometimes seems hard to bear!). I'm blessed by your blog and will follow it, and I invite you to follow my blog, Saved by Grace ( God bless you and your ministry, Laurie

Scott said...

Thanks, Meghan, we're all a work in progress, right?

And, Laurie, thanks for the comments as well. I look forward to checking out your site.