Thursday, February 19, 2004


Today has been a little frustrating. I keep chatting on my home church chat board about topics like "whether Genesis is myth" or "can a homosexual be a Christian." The frustration was as much with the medium as it was with the messages of the other people.

When you type on an online chat board, or you send and email or even in a blog, it is difficult to pick up the subtleties of language. Sometimes people are really sarcastic and sometimes they are truly serious. Its hard to figure out the difference sometimes on electronic media. The best we have are various smiley faces with different expressions.

These icons are supposed to replace the inflection in our voice, our tone and our emotional emphasis. They do this poorly. And when someone doesn't put in a smiley face, it is even harder to determine sarcasm. Some folks can't decipher when I am sarcastic and when I am serious even when I am talking with them. Its even harder on a chat board.

So I defended my view and they defended theirs. And my frustration grew with each post. Again, it wasn't just that I believed most of them to be arrogant and stupid, it was also that I couldn't do my part in the communication process. I couldn't read their inflection or tone or emotion. And this was frustrating. Have we lost the ability to do this because of the electronic media? Are we still able to read people in everyday conversation, or is that now a lost art? Has discernment gone the way of the dodo? Maybe its just me.

Father, give me discernment which will help me not only understand people, but see into people. Help me to see as Jesus saw. Help me to see into the lives, into the hearts, into the minds of those around me. Help me listen past the facade and see past the falsehood. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear.


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