As Christians, how should we be conducting ourselves in this fast moving e-mail and information age?
How can we determine if we should forward an email or not?
There are over 2.8 million e-mails sent per second around the globe, as estimated by the Radicati Group in April 2010. As Christians, how should we be conducting ourselves in this fast moving e-mail and information age?
Some e-mails that land in our inbox can be funny, entertaining or informative. It is easy to just pass these along without stopping to question if they are accurate and true. Even information coming from a trusted source or friend can contain information that is not correct.
Do we inadvertently participate in the spread of misinformation by casually passing along information that hits our inbox?
We understand that God’s law commands us to be truthful in our conversation and conduct (Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20). But just after God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, He also gave judgments He wanted His people to follow. They include a warning against passing along misinformation.
“You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice ” (Exodus 23:1-2).
E-mails can often look authentic and true but may actually be a scam or contain a mixture of truth and error. If we pass these along we are circulating false information, which may be exactly what the author was hoping we would do. And in the process we may damage both our reputation as a trusted source and that of some other person or business.
Remember King Solomon’s admonitions: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). And, “A good name is better than precious ointment” (Ecclesiastes 7:1).
So the next time you receive that funny or interesting e-mail—before just casually forwarding to others stop and ask yourself, “Is this something Jesus would approve of and pass on?” If in doubt, don’t send it out!