Monday, April 27, 2009

The Most Important Thing A Christian Can Do While Texting (HINT: Not enough will people talk about this)

Nope, it isn't imbibing in some really juicy gossip of say the high and mighty of your school. You know, the trendsetters, and it's not in merely keepin' updated with all your lofty and lowly peep's regarding their hobby and other interests. It isn't in merely listening to all their family conflict issues either.

The most important thing for you to do while texting is for you to properly rep the King of kings as His witness consistently. Yes, the Christians around you ..need you to listen up and then build them up their faith. Does that mean that God only wants you to text "Christian speak" and religious platitudes at people until they want to take you Bible and baptize you with it unto death? Don't be silly; of course not. You can inject truth from God's Word in when the time is right, but just be yourself.

Unbelievers around you will really need your ears at times too! There will be times when they need for you to boldly tell them your testimony and the whole nine yards. They need to hear you bravely witnessing to people and hearing people in love. Sometimes it's the meanest ones that are really begging for you to tell them of Christ's saving grace (yup, wisely with the right tone and definitions of those preachy sounding words. We've all also got to be so sensitive about timing and how long we carry on with each person--I like to give them an easy out, so they'll want to come back for more later).

On the man-ward communication level, being a real friend with say a social network, with your cell phone by calls or texts, or even better your presence and candidly sharing your faith.. is the most important things you can do. Because you will be addressing the greatest need that way. I say use what ever God has given you to get the Good News out.

The cool thing about Texting is that it is so brief kind of like shorthand. The conversation you get in with a friend can litterally go on for months with large pauses in between so they can digest the truth that you've been sharing.

The writer of Hebrews wrote short messages to build people up.. "I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, please listen carefully to what I have said in this brief letter" (Heb. 13:22, nlt). John did too, "I sent a brief letter to the church about this.." (3 Jn. 1:9, emphasis mine).

Hey, but why would we even want to Text brief messages about the Lord to anyone? That is so risky in our anti-Christian culture these days and besides, they might reject me as their friend.

Well, it's because we really care about them and because life is very brief that we must get the Gospel over to them. The Psalmist said, "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away" (Ps. 39:4).

Considerately building relationship by being brief in communication, by being loving, accurate, attentive and very to the point in a tactful way is so important today well as earning the right to be heard by them through clean, integrous, consistency and holy living.

Anyways, here are some ideas that might help you when texting…

* Be very courteous and consistent with your worldview, always using clean language that points to the Word and how to know Him better. Your blood might start to boil at times when your old buddies cast insults at you for "going and gettin' religion on em" but your anger at their scoffing won't help the situation, so please get a grip on your emotions early by praying silently. Your holy response should never show that you are frazzled, in a fleshly frame of mine or irritated at all!

* Validate their point of view when it is only right to do so (you can do this without agreeing with them on every issue or stance).

* Truely empathize with people. Let them know that you hear what they are saying.

* Offer to pray with them about their hurts and needs (you can even do this while Texting or chatting with each other).

* Provide a reasonable, biblical and transparent explanation for why you believe what you do (yes, do your Bible and prayer homework well in advance so you will be ready). Offer them thee Solution, or the right passages from the Word that address their needs. Man's opinions won't hold a lot of authoritative weight—they're not worth much, but God's Word won't return void.

* Be genuine, sincere and personal, but lighten up and inject humor from time to time as well. People want to know that your relationship with Jesus is 24/7/365 and can really be enjoyed. With Him are pleasures forever more, though we aren't in it for the pleasures.

* Ask them if there is anything that would prevent them from coming to the Lord as they are right then and there.. right now (coming as they are but being willing to change as Christ grants each one repentance and then changes them from the inside out).

* Remember, you might not be able to win them all, but you can win some of them as the Lord leads you and gives you the words to send ..or as you call them.

I really challenge you young people and older people alike ..who Text often or a little, to pray fervently in faith and then to get the Gospel out to your unbelieving cell phone friends via Text Messaging or maybe even through Twitter. Really, any micro-blogging tool with lots of traffic can be good to use for this purpose. We need to use ever tool we can while we still have time. Jesus said, "I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (Jn. 9:4).

"We have a whole generation being raised without communication skills!"

~ Author/Teacher Jacquie Ream

"Text Messaging represents and expansive new linguistic renaissance."

~ Linguist Sali Tagliamone

In June 2001, cell phone users sent 30 million Text Messages in the U.S. One years later, that number had jumped to nearly 1 billion. It is estimated that over 60 billion messages will be sent this year--2009. ~Turtle Creek News

Viral promotions if you will.. of Christ and His Gospel can take the form of cool video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames (and I don't mean that we are selling the truth here or trying for some personal gain—the Message and God's Salvation must be free).. ebooks, brandable software, imprinted clean images, or again, even text messages today can be anointed of God as the Christian steps out in faith and love.

Do you want to be about something much bigger than you are—about something bigger than all the pleasure-seeking activates of those around you.. who seem to be throwing their years or youth away? Go for it in Christ and He will be with you!

Just so you can be aware of today's TextM Abbreviations and interpretations (if you don't have a teenager around to help you), here is a basic, Text Messaging Glossary.

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