Monday, February 8, 2010

The plank in my eye

For those who don't know me well, I'm very much a twitter-er. If you'd like to see what I'm up to on Twitter, click here. Over the past year and a half, I've enjoyed the community of twitter with friends and strangers. I've gotten to know people in ministry, in sports, and made connections with people that I otherwise, never would have come to know. Long story short, I really enjoy Twitter. I've had very few "bad experiences" with Twitter, but I'll share one here.

But first, one of my biggest peeves on twitter is the misspelling of words. The most common ones I see are people using 'loose' (simply defined as "not tight") instead of 'lose' (simply defined as "not win"), and 'definately' (which is less of a word mix up and more of a misspelling of definitely). Anyway, I get more irritated with this than I'd like to admit, and I'm sure I've misspelled my fair amount of words on twitter, but I notice other's mistakes and it seems to wear on me... Ok, now for the experience.

Last week I was corrected after posting a tweet with some false information. I meant well, and mostly did it out of haste (I was in the library studying and on little break from academics). At first it was an innocent exchange asking for some clearing up, then it became the topic of a blog post. My first reaction: embarrassed and angry. I was glad that I was able to learn something, but felt a bit humiliated by the fact that it was dealt with publicly. Granted, I may be the only one that saw the connection, but I still felt shamed.

But the more I thought about it, the more I became convicted of my own rush to see mistakes in the tweets of others. A certain teaching of Christ came to mind: "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:2

This is the verse comes just before the well-known 'plank in your own eye' verse. Christ teaches a valuable lesson: judging others usually only results in hypocrisy. Maybe Christians could grow from accepting that mistakes happen and judgment often only brings damaged feelings and broken relationships. Instead of making it public, correct mistakes as lovingly as possible.

PS: I'm not angry with the person who corrected me, I'm actually grateful. However, I do wish that it hadn't been so much of a spectacle for others to see. I'm grateful for learning of my mistake and for the opportunity to try to correct my own problem with expecting too much from others in an arena of informal sharing. Finally, the person never referenced me or my mistake in their blog post. They too, were reacting to a common mistake that they see and mine just happened to be the catalyst that sparked the blog entry. Again, there are no hard feelings anymore, I was just aware of my own feelings and how I might cause similar feelings if (and when) I correct others.

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