When thinking about the book of Joshua and digital discipleship I was sort of stumped as to how the two relate. In general, I amazed at the wonderful connections that have been made by #digidisciple bloggers between the digital world and the Old Testament. They seem so far apart from one another. And yet they can also speak so clearly.
So I started to think about what I know about the book of Joshua. And the first thought I had was about the violence found throughout the book. Joshua and the Israelites tear through the promised land, decimating entire populations. I always have trouble reconciling the violence of the Old Testament with the Prince of Peace. I believe that Joshua and the Israelites truly believed that they were doing what God wanted them to do. However, God felt the need to reveal God’s self more completely through Jesus. So maybe they didn’t get the whole picture.
That brings me to being a person who spends a good bit of time in the digital world. And I am so dismayed so often about the violence that is done by Christians. I’m so sad when I see Christians leaving hateful comments on news stories. And I worry so much about the witness that is being left by angry and violent comments. It can be so harmful.
And yet I know that sometimes I too cause harm in the digital world. Snarkiness and negativity can be harmful and I am guilty of both. And I, just like many others believe that what I am doing is in defense of what I believe. In defense of Jesus Christ.
However as a Wesleyan, I have been schooled in three simple rules. 1. Do no harm 2. Do good. 3. Stay in love with God. I try to apply these rules, but it especially became more obvious to me that maybe I need to work harder at applying these rules to my digital interactions as I thought about the violence of Joshua.
So often we believe that the words we use are the words God wants us to use. But in reality they can do great violence to the witness of the Prince of Peace. Our words can be harmful. And it is so much easier to say harmful things to people when we don’t have to say them to peoples face. There is a safe space between us and them. We don’t see the hurt reaction, the casualties, the repercussions.
And so I will work harder to do no harm. I will try my hardest not to leave a trail of ruins behind me. To let God continue to reveal the way of peace to me.