“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.
Matthew 18:15, NRSV
Last week, the enemy tried to make me question my ability to communicate effectively through writing. I sent an email regarding an offense that caused a big storm in my life and I was left confused about whether I actually had the ability to write effectively. It was not until I read my email to enough people who confirmed that there was no malice in my tone that I felt my writing confidence returning. However, I did learn a valuable lesson about email communication when dealing with offenses. In retrospect, I should have just waited until I saw her or not take communion with the offense on my heart. Ironically, last week I had prepared longer posts, but didn’t send them out for fear of miscommunication. However, what the enemy meant for evil… Today, God has challenged me to learn a lesson so I can get back to the business of what I was created to do. So here goes…
Not to long ago, a co-worker sent me an email. I read it and thought that she was being negative. However, I decided to call her instead of jumping to conclusions. What I realized after a few minutes of conversation was that I had misread the email because I assumed that she was being negative. The same email could be read totally differently. My point is, while I am the first to admit that email can be ineffective way to communicate, in this world, email has become a necessary form of communication. As a result, we all need to learn how to read email with the assumption that the person is trying his/her best to communicate well. We have a tendency to believe that communication is a one-way street. However, the receiver must always be a posture of listening with the assumption the speaker means well. This is the case whether we are communicating verbally or in written form.
On the other end, when we send emails, we must be mindful that the person may make assumptions about our intent no matter how carefully crafted the email may be. With that said, my suggestions are to never send an email when you are feeling negative emotions and to read the email to at least one other person before pressing send. I will not be as naïve to say to never send an email, but I will be wise enough to say get a reality check before you do. In all instances, do things in love and compassion.