Counseling One Another

Helping you grow in God's all-sufficient truth and grace

Counseling One Another

Love Is not Rude when Texting

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.

  1. Common courtesy rules [reigns]… composing a text while in face-to-face conversation with another person is as rude as taking a call.
  2. Texting is informal and should, therefore, not be used for formal communication.
  3. Don’t get upset if you don’t get a reply.
  4. As in email, be aware of the “tone” of your words.
  5. Don’t text while driving [In our state it is not only unwise, but illegal].
  6. Leave the slang to the kids.
  7. Remember texts can be traced. There is no true anonymity.
  8. Be conscientious of other people’s schedules.
  9. If the need to talk is immediate then make the phone call.
  10. 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.
So, I’m looking in the mirror and asking myself, “If love is not rude, then do I text with manners?”

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3 Comments

  1. I just recently discovered your blog!

    Thanks for some basic guidelines that should help us be a bit more considerate and sensitive as we utilize technology …

    As I talk with people, and experience life for myself, I’m finding that we’re are getting a bit overwhelmed/obsessed/out of control when it comes to our use of electronics.

    This resource, WE ARE SO OUT OF CONTROL, might add to the discussion -
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2011/07/we-are-so-out-of-control.html

  2. Thanks, Linda, for the link. And welcome to the Counseling One Another family!

  3. “Longing to Chat on the Front Porch with You”

    It started with e-mail
    The demise of snail mail
    Our personal lives are right out there
    Anything we’re likely to share
    I guess we learned this from reality TV
    We rant and rave
    And post pictures you can see
    On Twitter you can tweet
    On Facebook you retreat
    On iPod there’s a beat
    Real people you don’t meet.
    With blogs I can rail
    Dialogue will soon fail
    Too slow but we can text
    What will be the latest next?
    Want no face-to-face strife?
    Send pictures of your life.
    With Skype we can gripe
    With Flicker we can snicker
    On Blue Tooth I tell the truth
    On Link-In you can ring in
    The pace we live is sad
    No front porch makes me mad.

    Copyright 2009 from my spiritual memoir, “Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill”, with a few more added lines. I often talk with youth when I “rap” this poem. We wonder if the mother is breaking up with someone by texting, rather than the person themselves. When should we talk in person with someone rather than texting them? I ask.