Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wednesday Weekly Rounds: On Faith, Community and Flattery

You remember how a significant part of our relationships are based on words?
Amy Seed sheds more light on the power of encouraging words:
…It got me thinking about other times in my life when encouraging words served a great purpose. When I graduated from college and was unemployed for what felt like forever, I found encouragement looking at appreciative notes I received from editors and staff members over the years… be a blessing to someone this week by taking the time to write him or her an encouraging note. Send a letter to a friend you haven't talked to in a long time just to let them know you are thinking of them and wishing them well. You never know what kind of difference it will make not only in their day, but in their life. 

In other news, it turns out that fairly polite people in real life can turn extremely rude online. An interesting post on Christian fellowship and words would be this that talks about taming the online tongue. Have you ever taken time to read comments on posts and stories online? You would be horrified, amused and just shocked to read what people say to one another these days. Commenting on posts and articles has gone from just dropping your thoughts and opinions to being the most brazen, rude and hateful human being possible. It is worse on yahoo but sometimes, it isn’t much different on Christian sites. I just go, “wao!”
Here are clips from Denise Morris:
…at other times, it was a mess of a place where people were getting into arguments with strangers, using harsh language and expressing opinions in an unkind, unproductive way. This was the online world — free of faces, body language and social cues. People said what they wanted in whatever way they wanted to.

As I've continued to read blogs, online news articles and Facebook feeds, I often feel exasperated, disgusted or downright embarrassed. And what is most disheartening is that my emotions often come from reading what my fellow Christians have written.
I've seen threads like this over and over in the social media world. And I think they're pretty pointless. For one thing, I see a lot of poor theology and cherry-picking of Bible verses. (Like, a lot.) I've also never known anyone who has changed his opinion because of an argument he was in on Facebook. Article threads can get hundreds of comments, but they're all just people arguing back and forth, thinking of how to phrase their next post. Maybe I'm wrong — perhaps opinions are changed all the time, but I've never seen it.
Most importantly: Christians. Brothers and sisters. People who are meant to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus — the death, resurrection and redemption of Christ — come on. If I were a non-Christian who happened to glance at some of these Facebook threads where people are accusing, fighting and belittling, I would run far away. Perhaps you disagree, but in my view, it makes us look foolish. I see none of the fruit of the Spirit in these conversations. Peace and patience are far off. Kindness and self-control — unheard of...
 You may read the rest here.

Mike Time shares why people are less inhibited in their speech: - “Blame the anonymity of the Internet.  How many people other than on FB actually use their real name?  Almost no one.  Why?  Because even if it's unlikely anyone would "track us down" and stalk, harass us or send us hate mail we still feel there is a vulnerability to us that doesn't occur behind the mask of just being a handle.”

Next, just incase I overemphasised the place of complements, this will help you (especially the guys) tone it down a little bit-so you don’t get into flattery:
And to the single men, I'd ask you to consider whether you're actually interested before you drown a woman in compliments. I understand that a woman is ultimately responsible for guarding her heart, but you could help out a lot by guarding your mouth.
…flattery is not a type of communication Christians should be employing any more than gossip, slander or coarse joking. Speaking of those who flatter, Paul says: "For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive" (Romans 16:18).
I think it comes back to motives. If one is delivering a compliment to serve his (or her) "own appetites" …then the compliment is flattery and fundamentally wrong. However, speaking from my own experience, God often used a well-timed word of praise or compliment from a single man to encourage me and build me up during my single years. Obviously too many compliments can create romantic confusion, but I don't think singles need to fear compliments. 
To drive home that point, consider another good word from Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” That's the litmus test: Do your compliments build others up according to their needs and benefit them? If the answer is no, refrain from what is most likely flattery. But I see no need to ban the compliment.

Well said. Enough said.

Finally, I’m reading something interesting and very insightful about the Qu'ran through the eyes of a Christian. Its been good so far. We are better equipped to witness when we understand people’s point of view. Please check it out here if you are interested.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Miss August.

Just so you know, I am not in any way affiliated to ‘focus on the family’ or ‘boundless’ or any other site I have referred to. They only happen to have stuff that is in line with my current thoughts.

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