"A man was walking down a street at night and had no place to go. He was cold and hungry and he was lost. He saw 2 houses next to each other who still had their lights on. One had a cross in the yard but loud angry voices echoing out into the street. He caught part of the conversation. How could he not? The still night air amplified every sound. They were cursing out one of their brothers for having done something they thought he shouldn’t. One said he hadn’t done it. The other said he had. No one was really sure of the facts but they were awfully sure of how they felt about it. The second house had no loud voices, just pleasant music floating above the air. An occasional low voice was heard asking what sounded like a question and then another sounding like it was answering. He thought he heard what sounded like a door shutting very softly as if from a different part of the house maybe farther away from the front where the lights were. And then he looked up just in time to see another light go on in a tiny room near the roof. He smiled as the voices became hushed and gentle while the music continued below. He thought to himself, how dignified. I will go up to that door because I know they will treat me the same way when I enter."
Neil's Ed. Note.... Melanie's story reminds me that our comments, our blogs and our other forms of public internet interactions should be 'seasoned with salt'. And that's easier said than done, given our human tendencies to take advantage of the moment at the microphone.
So let's all pray and work toward Christ-honoring conversations online. When 'hard things' sometimes need to be said, may they be done in private insofar as possible. And when public... for the sake of dispelling significant error... may they always be edifying to the whole body of Christ, and at the very least gracious at all times. And may those few occasions be greatly outweighed by our posts of encouragement as we 'stimulate one another to love and good deeds." (Heb 10).
My cousin Lynda uses an email-trailer that might serve as good advice for us here as well...
"People may quickly forget what you've said or done in this life. But they will always remember the way you made them feel."
"Let your gentleness be evident to all."