The internet could be easily described as a minefield and nobody walks through a maze of IEDs without getting hurt, or hurting someone else. Observing the minefield doesn’t just happen once, your course must be charted each and every time you plan to cross it. In your daily interactions online, it’s vital to chart your course according to the people you interact with and what they have to say.
It’s essential to understand a person’s point, if you want to avoid miscommunication.
-What is the person trying to communicate?
-What is the full context?
-Does it line up with their worldview?
Once you’ve studied the point, it’s equally important to examine it against a Christian worldview.
-What does scripture say about this?
-Is is aligned with the Gospel?
-If this statement is true, what does it mean for my worldview?
This is the only optional point: If your response is negative, you always have the choice whether or not to respond. Check your motives, check your heart, and ask if it is crucial that you reply.
In my post, 5 Reasons Why Your Debate Isn’t Helpful, I listed a few motives for debate: We usually debate because we want to prove a point, convince the other person to agree with us or defend our position. These should never be priorities over the call to love and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. Is your post necessary, clear, angry, annoying or correct? Evaluate if you should publish it by that criteria.
The Internet is Permanent
Even if you delete your conversation or post, the internet has made it possible for your post to impact dozens of people, before you have the chance to take it down. Think through your content! How does it point to Jesus, and further his mission?