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What Should I Know About Texting?

The Impact of Texting on Communication


Texting, while a modern and prevalent form of communication, carries significant implications for how young people interact with one another. It is important to consider how this mode of communication can influence relationships and personal reputation. Proverbs 18:21 states, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue," which in the age of digital communication can also extend to the fingertips. Each message sent via text can either build up or tear down in the relationships it touches.


Maintaining Integrity in Digital Conversations


When engaging in texting, it is crucial for young Christians to uphold the principles taught in Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." In the context of texting, this scripture encourages maintaining a tone that is respectful, uplifting, and beneficial. Text messages often lack the nuance of face-to-face interaction, which means words can be easily misinterpreted. Thus, it’s essential to choose words carefully to ensure the intended message is conveyed clearly and kindly.


Texting and Relationship Building


Texting can both enhance and hinder relationships. It allows for constant connection and can be a great tool for strengthening friendships if used to encourage, plan, and share positive experiences. However, excessive texting can replace more meaningful, in-depth communication methods like phone calls or personal meetings. This can lead to a surface-level understanding of complex emotions and situations, as warned in James 1:19, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." Effective communication involves listening, a skill that texting cannot fully accommodate.


The Risks of Miscommunication


The immediate and often casual nature of texting can lead to premature or poorly thought-out responses. Psalm 141:3 provides wisdom applicable to this challenge, "Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." Young people should be mindful to pause and consider their words before sending a text, as once sent, these messages cannot be taken back. This mindfulness can prevent misunderstandings and potential harm to relationships caused by hasty or emotional texting.


Privacy and Reputation


Texting also presents issues concerning privacy and reputation management. As Proverbs 22:1 reminds us, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Private texts can easily become public, intentionally or accidentally, which can have lasting impacts on one’s reputation. It is wise to avoid sending anything via text that would not be appropriate for a wider audience. Additionally, engaging in gossip or slander via text not only harms others but can also deteriorate trust and respect among peers.


The Role of Texting in Christian Witness


For Christian youth, texting also offers an opportunity to witness and share faith, a modern tool for evangelizing in a way that is integrated into daily life. However, this should be approached with sensitivity and respect for boundaries. Colossians 4:5-6 advises, "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." When using texting as a platform for sharing faith, it should be done in a manner that reflects Christ's love and respect for individual choice.


Texting, when used thoughtfully and prudently, is a powerful communication tool that can enhance relationships among young people. However, it requires wisdom, discretion, and an awareness of its potential impact on friendships and reputation. By adhering to biblical principles, young Christians can navigate the complexities of texting in a way that honors God and fosters healthy, meaningful connections with others.


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About the Author

EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is the CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored more than 220 books and is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

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