This morning as I opened up my email to read it, I saw a message from a good friend of mine. From reading the title of the message, I knew it wasn't just a regular personal greeting from her. It was a forwarded message and it said "Bible Verse Exchange" at the top. I opened it up, knowing pretty much what it was. It was a very polite invitation to share a favorite Bible verse with the last person who's name was at the bottom of the list...you know how it goes...we've all received these at one time or another. The rules were to forward your verse to 20 of your friends...you know, the ones that "I know who will participate and who won't" friends and in the process we would all be bombarded with scripture verses from all who participated....and so on, and so on. Finally, you were to asked not to break the chain (guilty) and although they knew that you (I) would not, please let someone know if you choose to drop out so in fairness to the others, so the chain wouldn't be broken. More guilt.
Now let me be clear, sharing Bible verses with friends is a good thing! At first I started to go along with it and respond...and then I was stopped. I don't know if it was the holy spirit or if it was just my own mind telling me that I could possibly be putting a guilt trip on 20 other people if I decided to follow along. I think it might have been a little of both. What I am saying is—and this is only coming from my own personal experience—there is a type of pressure that is put on the recipient to forward this to 10 or 20 friends. What the sender doesn't realize is the guilt associated with it if we don't choose to "bless" our friends by asking them to send it to 10 or 20 of theirs! We all have busy lives, some more than others, but adding pressure to anyone's life is not something that I want to be doing. I also don't need the added guilt. I have more than enough shortcomings and times when I feel I miss the mark terribly. I don't need to add more.
I love my sweet friend like a sister. We have been friends since junior high, were in each other's weddings and I wouldn't hurt her feelings for the world. Her only intention was to encourage me and others, I know that, but sometimes we don't realize that by asking folks to do this, we are putting an undo burden on them...by inadvertently making them feel guilty or making someone else feel the same way. Just my two cents on this.
How do you respond to emails such as this...forward or delete?
I pray your week ahead is blessed...and guilt-free!