1. Texting is a good tool to communicate quickly and to bring uplifting messages of encouragement to people. However, because it is a “quick form” many people get themselves in trouble by sending off something that they do not really think about before sending.
2. Group texting verses individual texting. We must be very careful in sending out group texts and responding to a group in texting. Many people on their phones do not have the capability to see if this is a group text or not. Just remember if you respond to a group text 9 other people will read it. It can easily be forwarded and can become a problem. It can accidentally be forwarded and be a problem. Many times people forward or respond to the text because they do not understand it is a group text. Recently, someone said to me they had just realized they thought they were only answering a specific person, but in reality their answer was seen by a whole group of people. If you wish to respond to a group text make sure you understand there may be people in the group that may not want to see your text. It is best to respond back individually to the individual author of the text. However, there are times in an encouraging mode that it might be appropriate to respond to a group text, as an example if it was an encouragement to you. But this should be thought through before just sending it off.
3. Bantering back and forth, joking and saying things in a group text needs to be understood that it can be inappropriate and unwanted by others who are in the group text. I have seen texting go back forth between two or three people in a group text that goes back and forth and back and forth. It is silly talk and foolish texting. People do not have nor want to spend 30 minutes or want to have to read foolish texting when they receive 15 to 20 texts in a matter of minutes. This is a waste of time and can be very annoying because their phone is lighting up from a group text. If someone is at work or in a meeting this can be very annoying. Many people spend several hours a day texting. That is not a good use of time for a multiple number of reasons and important things in their life can be being neglected especially if there are children at home, and can be an addiction such as Facebook and other forms of social media. Just remember, because you are a member of a church, does not give you an individual right to contact everyone. Things of this nature should be approved by the Pastor before being sent out in email or texting.
4. Bantering back and forth in a group text and cutting people down to the point of degrading another person is unacceptable behavior. No one wants to be degraded nor should they be. Also, others in a group who are receiving this bantering, who did not ask for it, do not wish to read it. You may think your thoughts are funny, and they may even be to you or another person, but a different person can and might be easily offended. Is it appropriate to say?
Ephesians 4:29-32, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
If you are saying it by texting it is the “words of thy mouth.” Degrading people by insulting them is inappropriate. This type of behavior grieves the Holy Spirit. It is unkind.
5. Never send texts to people wanting to debate an argument or make statements. Angry immature people do this. Many people of this generation have learned that they “can argue” through texting. Many families do this now and it is unhealthy and can seriously damage relationships. Because it is electronic you do not know the mood or demeanor of the person who is sending it or how it will be perceived on the other end. It can be read improperly and taken incorrectly. Never do this is a group text because it will come back with a mountain of trouble. If you want to discuss something talk in person or pick up the phone and call. Remember, electronic forms of communication can easily be forwarded, added to, or copied to others.
6. Don’t send texts to people late at night unless it is an absolute emergency. Someone shared with me they were very annoyed that a group text went on late at night with them included. Many people use their phone as an alarm clock. This person was awakened by 30 minutes of bantering back and forth in a group text that was nothing more than foolish texting. Obviously, they were not interested. You may be up but you may be waking up others. Remember, it is not all about you!
7. Don’t discuss sexuality, immoral things, body parts, make jokes about shooting or harming someone etc. Think about the things you are writing and use some discernment. Just think about a person in a group text that receives it. Also, you might think it is needed or funny, but others may not want to read it and are offended by it.
8. If you want to share a prayer request through texting, remember to keep it brief. You do not have to give all the details of your life or the life of another. In group texting there are people who do not want to read all the intimate details of your life or have details of their lives spread to everyone. Be careful about using others names in a text especially in a group text.
9. Texting is a good thing used properly. To send someone a scripture verse(s), letting them know you are praying for them, ask if you can be of help, sending a picture, or maybe something that will lift them up today. There is nothing wrong with sending a joke to a friend. Be understanding when it is sent to a group someone may not think it is funny. Group information that is important information for them to know, events, needs, services etc. can be helpful. It can be a great encourager of others.
10. Always seek to honor God in your communication. Make sure you are thinking about your communication. Is it needful and is it appropriate?
We wish to honor God in all we do. Our communication is a big part of how we honor God.