In today's society, we constantly encounter misunderstandings of tone, attitude, and context through the use of social media. It has created a barrier between ourselves and those with whom we communicate. That being said, it is easy to fall into the habit of misrepresenting our intentions, or even misreading someone else's. Although still young, I have learned many lessons regarding the attempt to decode a message received from someone--especially from someone of the opposite sex.
I have included three scenarios, and with these, a bit of commentary. Remember, you are fearfully and wonderfully made--don't join in on the games that can ultimately lead to hurt, heartbreak, and even hate.
Receiving that text after midnight. You know, the one that comes out of nowhere on a Friday night, simply stating "Hey ;)". I can assure you, that wink becomes dangerous after the sun goes down. It's tough to assume that anyone would want to strike up a decent, worthwhile conversation at that hour. Remember, for most people, feelings are somewhat amplified in the evenings: sadness, loneliness, vulnerability. Be cautious of how you respond and even with how you let a late-night discussion alter your emotions.
Oh, the ever-so-common drunk dial. You can't help but to feel a bit of satisfaction when someone's slurring through their undying confession of love for you...right? It's possible that I am making it sound silly, but how often does he confess it sober? More importantly, how often does he show it sober? If you're having a difficult time coming up with an answer to that, it's probably a phone call that never should have been answered in the first place. You deserve to hear it from a sober mind and honest heart.
Ah, the old "You should come over."--winner of the Most Deliberately-Ambiguous Statement of the Year award! It's 1am, and you are inviting me over to make cookies and play video games alone? Maybe, but not likely. It could be loaded with mischievous [scary, messy, confusing, misleading, heartbreaking, selfish] intentions which may remain undiscovered until it's too late. Always think through the situation before making a decision.
Rough news for you ladies: These scenarios are endless. However, if you cling to Christ and pray for wisdom and guidance, many of the deceptions and temptations can be overcome through Him.
Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory.
Beth Moore makes a strong suggestion in one of her sermons, which I feel is applicable to this post:
"Desperation does not make good decisions...ask God to fill you with His Spirit--to fill up every empty, broken place in you, and then see how you feel about that situation."
I realize that these specific situations may seem trivial, but the danger lies in how you allow yourself to respond to them: physically, emotionally, spiritually. Trust me--letting yourself get mixed up in these schemes can lead to a loss of self-respect. Let me ask you this: If you don't respect yourself, are you crazy enough to believe someone else will?
I don't mean for this post to make guys look bad. Being on the other side of those scenarios brings just as much heartache and pain.. so I would not recommend tempting others either! This was simply to bring awareness to the fact that times are changing, and social media makes it easier to share personal and intimate information with the click of a button. Temptation is high, and tools are more accessible than ever. Be smart!
As you meet new people this academic year, hold strong to your values and principles. Once compromised, it is extremely difficult to patch-up your integrity. You're a beautiful being, and should always be treated with respect. I pray that God blesses you all this year, and that he provides discernment for the trying times.
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." -Colossians 2:8
This song, "Steady My Heart", has a great message--and of course it rocks because it's Kari Jobe. You should give it a listen. Much love!