I’ve been thinking about love and texting for the past week or so because of a brief conversation I had with one of the elders at our church. So let me “think out loud” with you for a few moments. Texting is here to stay, whether we like it or not. But like every form of electronic communication it must be kept in its proper place—and its use must be governed by others-focused love. First Corinthians 13:5a says biblical love “does not act unbecomingly” (NASB). The word “unbecomingly” means inappropriate or rude. Another way of saying it is, “Love has manners.”
Yes, texting is convenient and can even be fun, but are there some rules of etiquette (manners) that we need to consider? The following is a brief summary of a list of the top 10 pointers published by Wireless Developer Network.
- Common courtesy rules [reigns]… composing a text while in face-to-face conversation with another person is as rude as taking a call.
- Texting is informal and should, therefore, not be used for formal communication.
- Don’t get upset if you don’t get a reply.
- As in email, be aware of the “tone” of your words.
- Don’t text while driving [In our state it is not only unwise, but illegal].
- Leave the slang to the kids.
- Remember texts can be traced. There is no true anonymity.
- Be conscientious of other people’s schedules.
- If the need to talk is immediate then make the phone call.
- Remember that your phone does have an Off button.
As we counsel one another to apply the second great love command to every area of our lives (Matthew 22:39), let’s consider four applications of “love is not rude.”
- Love is courteous and tactful.
- Love listens while others are talking.
- Love esteems others and values their time.
- Love is always appropriate.