What You Say In Private

You’ve seen it happen on twitter, or email.   Messages that were intended to be direct messages (DMs) or private replies go public instead, all because the sender hit the wrong button.  Fun times.  Especially if you enjoy mild heart attacks.

Almost happened to me today on Gmail.  It turns out I did NOT send what was supposed to be a private note to our leadership team as a ‘reply all’ to a  wider community.  But for ten minutes, I was away from my screen and convinced myself that I had hit the wrong button.

All I could think about is “how would others read it”?  It wasn’t a bad email at all (nothing off colour or inappropriate), but something that was a celebration for our little leadership team might not be heard that way by others who were not celebrating the same news we got.

In the end, it was all good.  But it made me think:  are my private conversations  always ready to go public?

You know what I’m talking about…if the person you’re talking about walked in the room, would you still say what you had been saying?  If someone else heard what you just said (or wrote), would it be all good?  If your private note became your face book status, how cool would that be?

Jesus challenges me so deeply.  Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.  What you say in private will be shouted from the rooftops.

I’m working to get to a place where all my DMs could be headlines and it really woudn’t make a difference.  Sometimes it might be a good thing to hit the wrong button just to test your character.  What do you think?

1 Comment

  1. Gordon Lacharity on March 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    That is an enormous challenge, Carey. I can see how it all relates to personal accountability. Though we are aware that God sees all that we do (And already knows we are going to do it!) it sometimes has a bigger effect on us when another human being sees something they weren’t meant to – likely because we fear the reaction!

    Reminds me a bit of a habit I started around the time I met my wife – an odd sort of imaginative situation. I often will imagine that everything I see and say is being recorded, like a sort of home video. Whenever my wife is not with me, I picture that she is sitting in front of a screen, seeing everything I do, live. I ask myself, whould she be proud of me? Ashamed? How would she react when I see her again after watching how I lived today?

    But honestly, I likely do this because my wife means so much to me – but isn’t this what God is actually doing every day? Though we may not see the proud smile on His face when we please Him, nor the sorrowful tears when we abandon Him, I believe it is very much real!

    Sorry to ramble Carey, I just felt inspired by your post. There is something to be said about how “private” the world has become. It affords people to say and do things that ought not to be said and done! Don’t you agree?

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