The most dangerous key in the world is the "send" key, or the "publish post" key.
Have you ever received an e-mail like this?
It was nice of you to take the time out of your busy schedule to visit me. I enjoyed our time together, especially after being so out of touch.
How should I understand this e-mail? Is grouchy old Aunt Betty upset that I don't call her more often? Or is my sweet, loving aunt honestly expressing her appreciation for a visit by her favourite nephew?
If I read the e-mail on Monday, I might interpret it as the former. On Tuesday (or after my morning coffee), I might see it as the latter. The point is that it is almost impossible to properly interpret tone in most peoples' e-mails.
Have you ever dashed off a quick e-mail to a friend, only to find out that they totally misunderstood your intention or attitude? Have you ever received a gruff or ominous e-mail, only to find out via a quick phone call that there was nothing gruff or ominous intended?
(I can see all of my readers' heads nodding. All five of you.)
Me too. In fact, years ago I committed to never using e-mail to communicate anything sensitive, critical or emotional. And any time I have broken that commitment, I have always regretted it.
So, why did it not occur to me that the same is true in blogging? In fact, it is true in spades! (And diamonds, hearts and clubs)! If a personal e-mail is open to misunderstanding, how much more so is a public announcement?
Three times over the past six weeks, some loving and wise brothers have pointed out to me articles I have written on this blog which fall into that "sensitive" category. Either I took on issues that were not appropriate for blogging, or my articles employed a tone (even an unintended tone) that was not godly.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. (Pr 9:8).
I may not be a very wise man, but I am working on it (or, more accurately, God is working on me, amen!) I love these brothers for their grace, courage and mercy. Although I have not changed my stance as expressed in most of those articles, they have shown me more godly and more biblical ways to deal with these issues, and I am humbled and deeply grateful!
Accordingly, I have removed several postings altogether, and edited out some references in others.
My hope and prayer is that this blog may as a result be more profitable to a small part of the Body of Christ (all five of you again!), and that my own heart may be wiser, humbler, and more "useful for the master of the house" (2 Tim 2:21).
Thank you for your patience and grace, dear reader.