I've only recently entered the "blogosphere realm." In fact, I didn't even know what a "blog" was until a few years ago when my dear friend, Carolyn McCulley, introduced me to her Radical Womanhood website (then under a different name). At my house late one night, she plugged into my computer a few of her blog favorites. At the time, I never dreamed that one day I would be referred to as a "blogger!"
I’ve personally benefitted from reading some of my favorite blogs. I’ve found insightful and biblical instruction. I’ve been challenged and encouraged. Normally I read the articles, but refrain from following the comment stream.
For me, one of the benefits of the True Woman blog has been the community that has developed through the opportunity to send encouraging comments. I am blessed by hearing how God is at work in your lives. I’ve loved watching women on this blog surround a hurting sister and pray for her. We’ve even had the privilege of watching women respond to the gospel and seeing His transformation occur in their lives!
But, at times I’ve been grieved over the tone of comments we’ve received. One of the HUGE negatives to this form of discussion is the inability to exchange smiles, to hear gracious tones of response, to see sincere kindness expressed while verbalizing differences. As we read differing comments it helps to consider this limitation.
One of the most disappointing and surprising things I've discovered as a cyberspace novice is the seeming ease and frequency with which individuals throw out a barrage of personal criticisms to total strangers. I've visited websites where the victim of a "blog attack" was a personal friend, but from reading the site's comments, my friend was unrecognizable. The bloggers' mischaracterization revealed an ignorance of her heart, character, or actions.
Of course, this comes as no surprise when non-believers engage in discussion. We should expect "lost" people to act lost—and grant grace accordingly. But how can believers biblically justify this type of behavior?
What is your reaction when your position is challenged? To fight back in self-defense? To return criticism with criticism? To set up your defense with unbeatable logic tinged with bitter jabs?
I’ve found Ephesians 4:29-32 an invaluable guide for me when conversing (whether verbally or in writing):
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God . . .
Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been a great role model for me when it comes to the issue of sharing truth in love. It is important to stand for biblical truth, but we must be careful to convey truth with the gracious and winsome spirit of humility of a redeemed sinner.