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Faith and Civil Conversation

Today’s Reflection

INSTANT GRATIFICATION is no longer a novelty or a convenience. It is an expectation. With the rise of the Internet we have seen the focus shift from instantly accessible products and services to instantly accessible information. We have access to more information than ever before. We are more connected, able to reach out and touch someone by phone, text, tweet, status update, or whatever the next technological innovation will be. But it seems these advances come with a price – a corresponding breakdown in civility.

It’s certainly not intentional on anyone’s part. We don’t set out to be snarky or uncivil toward the other. But it seems that these changes have contributed to a decline in civil conversation and mutual respect. …

We can customize what we read, who we listen to, and what we experience. We are able to avoid the voices who would challenge our assumptions. Those who fall outside the scope of our beliefs are drawn in broad strokes and demonized as the enemy rather than acknowledged as our neighbor and/or brother or sister in Christ. We fail to practice mutual respect because we simply don’t know one another. …

What would our tweets and status updates look like if we took the words from Ephesians 4:29-32 to heart? It may be time to slow down, take a deep breath, and think intentionally about what we are communicating before we whip out the phone and offer our unsolicited opinion. May we transform the culture of Twitter and Facebook into places that practice compassion, offer forgiveness, and reflect life in God’s kingdom.

– Jay Voorhees

Alive Now, Jan/Feb 2013

From “(Dis)Connected” by Jay Voorhees, pages 18-19 in Alive Now, January/February 2013. Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Are you active on Facebook or Twitter? If so, post a word of encouragement to those who read your updates or tweets. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14, NRSV

This Week: pray for those those without adequate food and water. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

The Miracles of Jesus, The Upper Room’s 2013 online Lenten retreat! Journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter exploring the miracles of Jesus and what they say today. Join in online anytime from anywhere alone or with a group of friends.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Agnes (January 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 5 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller January 24, 2013, 1:56 am

    Lord, keep the needs of your people in our hearts and minds and may we continue to help those who need food and water. Thank you that we have ways to do this, for without you we can do nothing. In your name I pray, Amen.

  • Joan January 24, 2013, 7:31 am

    The Alive Now posts are fabulous on Facebook and a way our church community encourages one another by sharing these good words.

  • Edy January 24, 2013, 9:09 am

    Now that my mother is gone from this earth, I know her spirit lives on in Jesus’ arms. Too bad fb and twitter cannot go to heaven. Our prayers do, though and the Holy Spirit is my method of communication.

  • Carol January 24, 2013, 3:15 pm

    I must admit not opening myself up to twitter or facebook. I still like to send cards “by mail” and bring a personal message that can “sit on a mantle” to be read at will.

  • mary ng shwu ling January 25, 2013, 11:08 pm

    recently, my ipad cannot be connected to the internet. right now, i am using my niece’s laptop. not used to it and on second thoughts if i do not have the internet connection, it helps to live a simple life and i have more time to pray and read.

    Father God, you know our needs and what distracts us. Help us to look up to you and not spend too much time on twitter, facebook or blogs.

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