20 but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you (Galatians 4).

Face-to-face meetings are always different than encounters from a distance, for it is a lot easier to write strong words than to speak them directly at someone. Paul is not enjoying himself writing such strong words to the people he has grown to love. He would rather be there in person to plead with them, using soft words. He wants them to know he is “perplexed” about them—not angry, as his strong words might suggest.

People would do well to enter their social media posts using words they would use if they were face-to-face with the folks they are writing. How many relationships have been broken due to a poor choice of words—words communicating anger, rather than perplexity, words used in order to win an argument, rather than to win a friend?

Lord, help us This Day to use the right words in our communications with people. Amen.