When will we learn?
With every sunrise we are given plenty of new examples of people “Hitting Send” and soon regretting it. Social media means what it says: it is social! Our methods of communication today allow for something to potentially be broadcast to everyone from Pekin, Illinois to Peking, China. But it’s not only Twitter fanatics who can find themselves in trouble. Every single one of us is capable of falling prey to this growing plague.
Every day we have the potential of both verbal and written blunders. It makes no difference if we are talking to a stranger over a meat counter, chatting on a cell phone with our mother, or sending an e-mail to a coworker; we can and do miscommunicate and people can and do get the wrong idea. When we don't pause long enough to think before speaking or writing, it commonly yields a misunderstanding and leads to a clash. We end up being the person who said, “You know that sphere of the brain that stops you from saying something that you shouldn't? Well, I don’t have one of those.”
This book is about preventing that misunderstanding and allowing for understanding. Said another way, preempting people from getting the wrong idea and enabling them to get the right idea! We all need work in this area in far more ways than just glancing through a checklist.
From external examples to internal turmoil, Before You Hit Send is about the four things we must think through before communicating. In all things we wish to say or write, we would be wise to ask ourselves,
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it clear?
When we ask and answer these four questions honestly, we will be thinking wisely before we speak. But to explore this fully, we need to find out a whole lot more about ourselves and uncover why we consciously and subconsciously get into these communication disasters to begin with. You may be surprised what you discover about yourself. Shall we begin?
- Every Christian needs to listen to this book carefully and prayerfully. Highly recommended!
I was first introduced to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs' work about a decade ago when my wife and I were at the local Christian bookstore, and one of his books about communication in marriage was on sale. I picked it up and found that it was on target with what Scripture taught about male and female communication and what my wife and I had experienced in our own marriage. After reading his flagship book "Love and Respect: The Love She Desires Most; The Respect He Desperately Needs" and listening to the podcast he produced for a couple years, I (along with many others) realized that the communication principles he drew from Scripture rang true in all relationships, not just marriage.
When I found out that he wrote a book on general communication in all relationships and focused on communication in the age of social media, I was ecstatic! As a defender of the Christian worldview, I am constantly engaging skeptics and presenting the evidence for the truth of what I believe. The common passage of scripture that is quoted to support this aspect of evangelism is 1 Peter 3:15: "Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, and do so with gentleness and respect." This passage emphasizes not merely the content of our defense but also the delivery of the content: "with gentleness and respect." Learning to be wise communicators is necessary for anyone who wishes to obey Peter's command in full.
"Before You Hit Send" is an incredible read. Because of the fact that I have dedicated my life to defending the truth of the Christian worldview, which has eternal consequences for my audience, along with being in constant prayer, I am always looking for ways to ensure that I am communicating my case as persuasively as possible. As we defend the truth of Christianity, we may be removing intellectual stumbling blocks, but we may be introducing emotional ones. Kind, necessary, and clear communication are equally as necessary as true communication. In so thoroughly covering the possible pitfalls in all four aspects of our communication, Dr. Eggerichs has provided an indispensable resource.
The principles discussed, of course, apply to all of our communicative relationships on all topics, whether at home, at work, at church, at the coffee shop, or on social media. We must remember that every time that we communicate with another person, as Christians, we are giving them an impression of Christ, so we must guard that impression to ensure that we accurately reflect Him. Whether we are actively looking for the opportunity to evangelize and defend or not, at some point, we will be called upon to give a reason for the hope that we have to those we have communicated with, and we do not want our past failures to taint the answer that we provide. I highly recommend "Before You Hit Send." Every Christian needs to read this book thoughtfully and prayerfully.
For my full chapter-by-chapter review, check it out here: https://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2018/04/book-review-before-you-hit-send.html