(Me giving advice to my children {And a reminder to self}): “If you don’t want everyone… and I do mean everyone… to read something, then don’t write it in an email… don’t send an instant message… don’t tweet it… and don’t put it on facebook. DID YOU HEAR ME?”

Now for a true cautionary tale…

In the age of instant communication you’d think that people would learn not to email, text, or tweet anything that could mess up their life.  But alas… some people don’t learn the lesson except for when they get burned.  Such was the case recently when a Baptist minister sent an email to a state senator.  The senator read the email publicly, which resulted in a front page news article in a local paper (Click here to read the article and the email exchange between the minister and the senator).

If you read the article you are probably taken back, disappointed, embarrassed, and shocked at the verbage he used (Romans 2:23-24).  But before you (Or I) start raining down condemnations upon him, I think it would be good to remember a few Scripture passages… (After all, the Scripture is our guide in all things… not popular opinion or what others do).

1 Corinthians 1:12… “Let him who stands take heed lest HE fall.” (That means you and me!)

Proverbs 16:18… “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (You and I are a breath away from making the same or similar mistake.)

Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.  (How would YOU want to be treated if you were in this minister’s shoes?  Then that is how you should relate to him and his situation!)

Ephesians 4:29… Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Philippians 1:27… Whatever happens conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel. (This is for all of us who discuss this event with others.  “Worthy of the Gospel” is the operative phrase for us.)

How should the pastor of the church and their leadership handle the situation?  Well… I think Ephesians 4:32 addresses that.  Past that I think those in the situation are much more able to discern what should happen or take place.  As Christians we are to pray for the minister AND his wife… the church he serves… all those involved… and the reputation of the faith.  This could very well end up showing a whole community how Christians handle mistakes… adversity… and reconciliation.

Now… in case you missed it… I wouldn’t click “send” so quickly on that email.  Things have a way of coming back on you.