10 Commandments for Emailing (A Peacemakers Approach)

 These were taken from the Peacemakers Blog Route 5:9 based off of Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” 

 

  1. Confirm that you are interpreting facts accurately to guard against emailing interpretations of the facts that others might find unfair or untrue. (Heed the 9th Commandment; see, e.g., Exodus 23:1, Ephesians 4:25.)
  2. If you have doubts about facts, meet with wise counselors and/or the potential reader(s) of your email to find spirit-led words for communicating the message concerning disputable facts or questionable motives. (Keep in step with the Spirit and do not provoke; see, e.g., Galatians 5:25-26. Be like Jesus and try to understand the temptations that caused the listener to do that which offended you; see, e.g., Hebrews 2:17-18. Do not impugn motives; see, e.g., 1 Corinthians 4:5)
  3. Do not copy others on emails unless you are certain that the email is true, fair, and necessary. Be especially careful not to blind copy emails to people who might form judgments based on incomplete information or emotionally-charged statements. (Do not sow discord; see, e.g., Proverbs 6:19.)
  4. Do not send emails with negative policy directives unless earnest efforts have been made to discuss the directives in person and each negative directive points to a positive alternative. (Follow the example of our Lord, who always showed positive alternatives. Use affirming language; see, e.g., Ephesians 4:29, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:25, etc.)
  5. Exercise care when using email to develop or mandate new policies regarding emotionally-charged issues. (See how Paul empathized with the target of his communications, as in the book of Philemon, before suggesting solutions. Think before you write; see, e.g., 1 Corinthians 14:20. Focus on issues rather than people; see, e.g., Titus 2:7-8 )
  6. If responding to a negative email, keep emails brief and gentle. (Be quick to listen and slow to speak; see, e.g., James 1:19. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger; see, e.g., Proverbs 15:1)
  7. Do not assume that the person reading your email knows that you trust, respect, and value (at least some things about) him or her. (If you are writing about a negative issue, heed the wisdom of Apostles Paul and Peter who start letters about even the most egregious sins with warm and affirming language.)
  8. Pray for wisdom about using logic to base your position on spiritual truths expressed with spiritual words. (See, e.g., John 1:1, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 1 Peter 4:11.)
  9. If you send an email with incorrect information or information sent to the wrong person, make a Biblical apology. (See http://covenant.net/Articles/Confession.mht and the related verses in Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:8-9, Luke 15:11-24, Luke 19:1-9, and Eph. 4:22-32.)
  10. Practice the Golden Rule. Ask how you would feel if receiving the types of emails that you send to others. Seek to uphold email standards that, if practiced by everyone in the Christian community, would show a desire to maintain the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. (See, e.g., Ephesians 4:3 and Matthew 7:12.)
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One thought on “10 Commandments for Emailing (A Peacemakers Approach)

  1. Love the post. We must encourage oneanother and strengthen oneanother in this present environment of hostility and incivility to oneanother to learn the skills of peacemaking. It is a matter of life or death for the Church in America and her mission to the world. Thank you and keep up the good work.

    John Paul Todd
    e4unity.wordpress.com

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