Proverbs 19:11a “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger…..” Harry S. Truman was a wise and prudent man, as well as president. When he received mail or a communication that perturbed him, and he needed to send a reply, he would never immediately place it in the mail. He would write the response and prepare the envelope for sending it, BUT he would not seal and place it in the U.S. postal system until he read it again on the following day. Why? Because another day brings a new and fresh perspective with it. Because he realized that he could hastily send something that he would later regret. Because he may not have all of the facts straight when he sent it. This is indeed the wise decision in making a response.
How does this apply to us? There is a direct comparison to the way we send mail, but technology has also given us the opportunity to apply Harry’s counsel in a very special way: Electronic-Mail (e-mail) is very convenient. We send them when the time is right for us, and receive replies when the occasion is good for our correspondent. Here is the problem we must be careful about: One way e-mail communications do not allow for dialogue. They are communications that often lack all of the facts and greater picture of the topic at hand. They can contribute to anger, hurt feelings and misunderstandings. How do we avoid these scenarios? By simply holding parameters around our mailings. Use them often in order to convey neutral information, but NEVER send sensitive material that requires dialogue and a face to face meeting or at least a phone call. Know the limitations of e-mail—-this will save us from a lot of hurt feelings, embarrassment, pain, and foolish things said that we wish we could take back. I certainly need to take heed to the wisdom of Harry Truman. How about you?
Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” (KJV)