Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things said in Secret (from Our Daily Bread)

Some say that anonymity is the last refuge for cowards. Judging from mail and comments I’ve read that have been submitted anonymously, I would agree. People hiding behind the screen of anonymity or a false identity feel the freedom to launch angry, hurtful tirades. Anonymity allows them to be unkind without having to take responsibility for their words.

Whenever I am tempted to write something anonymously because I don’t want to be identified with my own words, I stop and reconsider. If I don’t want my name attached to it, I probably shouldn’t be saying it. Then I do one of two things: I either toss it out or I rewrite it in a way that makes it helpful rather than hurtful.

According to Ephesians, our words should edify and impart grace (4:29). If I’m unwilling to use my name, there’s reason to believe that my motive is to hurt, not to help.

Whenever you’re tempted to say something in secret—perhaps to a family member, co-worker, or your pastor—consider why you don’t want your name to be identified with your words. After all, if you don’t want to be identified with your words, God probably doesn’t either. He is gracious and slow to anger (Ex. 34:6), and we should be the same. — Julie Ackerman Link

O Lord, help us to turn aside
From words that spring from selfish pride,
For You would have Your children one
In praise and love for Your dear Son. —D. De Haan

Anonymity can be a coward’s way of hiding behind hurtful words.

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