Tuesday, 7 May 2013

“The last act is the greatest treason. To do the right deed for the wrong reason.” T.S.Eliot

The above is a quotation from 'Murder in the Cathedral', which we had to study for 'A' Level English at school in England. Blessed with two inspired English teachers at school, I grew to love T.S. Eliot and this quotation has remained with me ever since.

I was reminded of it recently, while taking part in a discussion about Abraham in a house church group on Facebook. (I have to admit it, I have rejoined - it has proven easier to keep in touch with the children).

It is sad how such discussions can turn out, particularly when experts with especially strong giftings, personality and sometimes uncrucified natures feel that they need to teach and correct others who might have a different viewpoint. It is sad to see how people are treated. The impressive response from these dear corrected ones has been humble and Christlike.

What strikes me, however, is the extent to which I find myself being tempted to portray an image of myself as better than I actually am. If I'm corrected, I don't want to defend myself or try to attack the other person, but I find myself tempted to write in such a way which will portray myself as similarly 'Christlike' to the others I admire. My fear is that I'm probably alone in this. Or perhaps it's the temptation of every writer to give people the impression that he's an expert in his field, because he knows that deep down, he isn't. He writes to make up for his insecurity.
Or maybe I'm being far too analytical.

Social Network discussions are amazing things, if only for the exchange of ideas, but, as I recently read, a recent U.S. university study has pointed out that only 7% of communication takes place via words. 38% takes place via tone of voice and 55% via body language. This puts FB posters at a severe disadvantage, or advantage, depending on how one looks at it.
No-one else can see my face while I write. No-one can see my gestures or hear my voice. I am at the mercy of my words. And if I can write at all well, then I can manipulate others by my words, to make them think that I'm a more mature follower of Yeshua than I really am. :/

I was tempted to write a post in that particular thread for the above reason. In the end, I didn't. It was too unreal.
Internet communication really seems to have a large element of unreality; after all, here I am, sitting at my laptop at this home-made, cobbled-together desk, a single lamp shining on a higgledy-piggledy collection of pens, papers and dust, in a small room where I have a growing pile of ironing waiting for me, a dead fly on the window sill, my sweatpants and sweatshirt hanging on a rail (waiting to be worn tomorrow morning when I'll go Nordic walking with my closest friend along the river), and bookcases groaning with files and books, and a writing desk on which all my English lessons are lying. This is my reality here. Yet I'm connecting with others over the world, whose lives I have no or little idea about. It is so easy to only show people what I want them to see; a cyber reality.

That's why I thought of this quotation.  Had I posted, it might have been a good post, but it would have been for the wrong reason. I want Yeshua to deal with all that first. How wonderful it is to remember that salvation has three tenses - to quote Chuck Missler - justification (simple past), sanctification, (present continuous) and glorification (future). He has dealt with all three and I am complete in Him. Praise God!

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