Dealing with ‘flaming’ emails and comments

A writer friend asked me how I deal with “flaming” emails and comments. (Apparently she assumed not everyone loves my posts. Ha!) Seriously, it’s a great question! Here are some thoughts:

Know who you are

I’m a child of God and no letter writer or Internet troll can take away the love of the Father for me or my identity in him; my identity is not wrapped up in being a writer. (This also works great for rejection slips and royalty statements!)

Know why you write

If God has truly called you to write on controversial issues, he will give you the strength to keep putting yourself out on the front line, but if it’s for your own personal agenda, you’ll get burned out.

Know what you write

Make sure you do your research so you can confidently defend your position with not only Scripture but with secular research and verified facts. I tell students “Be an OAF: Objective, Accurate, Fair.”

Know how to write

The Gospel of John describes Jesus as being “full of truth and grace.” What a great combination for writing on tough topics! And do follow St. Paul’s admonition to “speak the truth with love.” Finally . . .

Know when to walk away from a controversial subject.

Ask God to help you choose your battles, then remind yourself “the battle belongs to the Lord.”

At least that’s how I try to survive the battle—and sometimes it is a battle. God bless you as you serve him on the front lines with truth, grace and love!

Copyright © 2008 James N. Watkins

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