Monday, April 6, 2009

Important Do Not Delete

This is NOT a SCAM -- Read to the END!

I just found out about a young boy in Georgia who has been diagnosed with a rare disease. I know about him because my cousin's wife's second cousin's daughter goes to school where this little boy's uncle's brother coaches P.E. in Florida. This boy's family does not have insurance, his parents are both unemployed due to layoffs resulting from the down-turn of our economy. A special arrangement with Amory Hospital, the Pediatric Disease Foundation, the Pediatric Doctor's Fellowship, and GoFigure ISP will pay for all his treatment. Here is how this works, if enough people get this message and forward it to enough friends a special tracking system developed by IT specialist at GoFigure ISP will keep track of the numbers, and a matching grant trust set up by the above groups will give one dollar toward the family's expenses for everyone who receives this message. When you do forward this message, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for an all expense paid trip to Orlando compliments of the cooperation of Mikey Moose and MicroTosh Computers.

I hope by now you know that this is a hoax, if not maybe the 100 people you sent this to have. I made the entire message up, but it does sound like a lot of emails people send me. You know the type; the O'Hare's are at it again, a virus is coming attached to email, rapists are stalking the malls looking for women in khaki skirts who care about children, and Bill Gates will send you money if you forward this because you love Jesus.

When the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, computers and email were a long way into the future, so God did not specifically mention them. God did however deal with our nature as people. There is something within us that thrives on passing along news -- good news, bad news, warnings, and blessings. Jesus, knowing our tendencies, said, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" Matt 12:36-37. I know that this is specifically about spoken words, but could not this passage just as well say, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may transmit, they will give an account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your emails you will be justified and by your texting you will be condemned."?

Here is the point, We are to manage our words and our time wisely, we are to use our words and time to build people up. Paul writes, 'Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers . . . Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you will all malice" Eph 4:29-31.

The telephone replaced the back fence as the way to communicate rumors. Emails and social networking is replacing the telephone as the means of spreading gossip. Paul warns about being a busybody and gossip in 1 Tim 5:13.

In our rush to pass on news, whether in verbal space or cyberspace, we are becoming guilty of gossip and evil speaking. We must stop. Here are some email and conversational guidelines:
1. Tell only what you know firsthand.
2. The only person you are qualified to talk about is you.
3. If what you say or type does not benefit the reader (or the written about) do not send it.
4. If it was forwarded to you and many others before you - delete it and stop the chain.
5. If it sounds like it might be true check it out before you send (spread) it.
6. Send this to those who always forward to you :-) .

1 comment:

John said...

This a good post, Scott. We should listen more and speak less, as James says, swift to hear, slow to speak. Sometimes we speak with veiled arrogance, wanting to draw attention to ourselves, make ourselves look better in comparison to someone else, at their expense. A wise procedure would be to ask ourselves before every statement, "Is this good for necessary edification?" The very process would probably cause us to speak less. How many relational rifts would have never occurred if one party involved in the interaction would have just shut up? Words should be rationed. Great post, thank you.