Book Review: Before You Hit Send


Romans 12:18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Over the Fall Break our family was headed to the beach and I had an opportunity to hear Dr. Eggerichs speaking on a the 5 Leadership Questions podcast about his newest book Before You Hit Send.  I immediately put this book on my list.  We have all experienced frustration regarding email and other electronic communication.  I was also struck by the number of times that I have unwittingly been the source of frustration for others when I have been less than thoughtful and considerate.  I’m grateful for grace and also for people who are faithful to hold me accountable in this area.  I have LOTS of room to grow!

I read two of Dr. Eggerichs other books and reviewed them here: Love and Respect and Love and Respect in the Family.  I appreciate his writing style and the way that he starts with a solid biblical foundation and then shares different experiences in his own upbringing, his family, and his ministry that help illustrate the concept in a way that is memorable.

I have a LOT to learn in this area.  I enjoyed reading this book and made a real effort to stop after each section to evaluate how the Lord is showing me areas where I need to grow.

I highlighted a ton while reading and have posted those notes below.  Thank you for holding me accountable to growing in these areas!

  • “Dance like no one is watching; email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.” Olivia Nuzzi, The Dailey Best p. ix
  • Here are four questions to ask yourself with everything you communicate:
  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it kind?
  3. Is it necessary?
  4. Is it clear? p. xv
  • Ephesians 4:15 Speak the truth in love. p. xvii
  • Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to be silent and a time to speak. p. xvii
  • 1 Corinthians 14:9 Unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? p. xviii
  • Let’s dance like everyone is watching.  Let’s write like everyone is reading.  Let’s speak like everyone is listening. p. xxi
  • Scriptural Meditation on True Speech: Ephesians 4:25, Colossians 3:9, Titus 1:2, Acts 5:3-4, Revelation 14:4-5, Proverbs 12:19, Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 19:5, Proverbs 21:6, Psalm 35:20 p. 2
  • “Falsehood…is the worst enemy a fellow can have.  The fact is truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circumstances are.” Abraham Lincoln p. 5
  • Am I about to communicate unto others in the way I would want others to communicate unto me? p. 8
  • “Presumption first blinds a Man, then sets him a running.” Benjamin Franklin p. 20
  • Proverbs 18:13 He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. p. 20
  • “There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one’s errors.  It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error.” Dale Carnegie p. 23”
  • “Above all, don’t lie to yourself.  The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.  And having no respect he ceases to love.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov p. 26
  • 1 Timothy 5:24 The sins of some people are obvious, going ahead of them to judgement.  The sins of others follow them there. p. 41
  • “Character is higher than intellect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson p. 41
  • “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain p. 51
  • If our communication is not true, what good is it to go on speaking about kind, necessary, and clean communication? p. 56
  • Scriptural Meditation on Kind Speech: Ephesians 4:15, 1 Corinthians 13:4, Proverbs 15:1, 2 Timothy 2:25, Colossians 4:6, 1 Peter 3:9, 1 Corinthians 4:13, Proverbs 16:21-24, Proverbs 12:25, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 19:22, Micah 6:8, Ecclesiastes 10:12, 1 Peter 3:15, Colossians 3:8, Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 25:15, Luke 4:22 p. 63
  • People hear your words of truth, but they feel your words of kindness. p. 63
  • A question for all of us to ask before communicating is, “Am I addressing the issue or attacking the person?” p. 66
  • How can I speak what is true and necessary and clear without others feeling I am unkind?  How can I differ with people without them feeling unloved and disrespected? p. 66
  • In hitting send, if I am feeling provoked by another’s maddening behavior and react like a madman, I will be seen as a madman along with the other person.  I get no pass because he or she started it.  Even though the other person came at me first, my insane reaction reveals to others that I have a serious character flaw.  My rude and mean-spirited reaction reveals me as a rude and mean-spirited person. p. 67
  • Mark 7:21-22 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed…slander… p. 70
  • Other people do not cause us to be the way we are; they reveal our predisposition to express disgust and disparagement. p. 70
  • Every bully needs to ask, Can I secure my wishes only via intimidation?  Do I lack the confidence in my honorable character to appeal to others to provide what I need?  Can I not use my good heart to motivate others?  Do I need to yell at the retailer, threaten divorce, and scream litigation against the landlord? p. 76
  • “Truth without love is nothing—it is not even truth, for truth is God, and God is love.  So truth without love is a lie; it is nothing.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer p. 79
  • “Intelligent people tend to talk about the facts.  They don’t sit around and call each other names.  That’s what you can find on a third-grade playground.” Ben Carson p. 83
  • We all must ask ourselves individually, Will I compromise my character and the truth in order to win?  Will I succeed no matter the cost? p. 83
  • “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.  If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post p. 97
  • The words we are saying are only half of our communication.  The other half is what others are hearing.  Will we hear what they hear? p. 103
  • “A beast does not know that he is a beast, and the nearer a man gets to being a beast the less he knows it.” George MacDonald p. 106
  • Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath. p. 109
  • Relationship determines response. p. 113
  • Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt. p. 119
  • Scriptural Meditation on Necessary Speech: Ecclesiastes 5:7, Proverbs 10:19, Ecclesiastes 5:3, Ecclesiastes 6:11, Proverbs 29:20, Ecclesiastes 5:7, Ecclesiastes 10:12-14, Matthew 12:36, James 1:26, Ephesians 5:4, Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 25:11-12, Proverbs 15:23, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 13:3, Proverbs 21:23, Proverbs 17:28, James 1:19, Jude 1:3, and Ephesians 5:12 p. 123
  • Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. p. 124
  • Matthew 12:34 For the youth speaks out of that which fills the heart….v 36-37 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgement.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. p. 125
  • Ephesians 5:4 There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. p. 134
  • We need to recognize that true information communicated at the wrong time usually proves useless. p. 135
  • If you are uncertain if this is the best time, wait on it. p. 135
  • We are going to this person about whom you are talking to ask if this is true, and, if so, what we can do to help.  We are going to be part of the solution here.” p. 137
  • Proverbs 18:13 He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. p. 141
  • Did you know that the letters in the word listen are the same as in the word silent? p. 142
  • Before hitting send, Have I listened carefully and understood the exact issue on the table? p. 142
  • Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. p. 144
  • “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary.  It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to the development of an unhealthy state of things.” Winston Churchill p. 165
  • I will give an account to God not only for what I said that was unnecessary but also for failing to say what was necessary. p. 167
  • Matthew 12:36-37 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.  For by your words you will justified, and by your words you will be condemned. p. 173
  • Scriptural Meditation on Clear Speech: 1 Corinthians 14:9, Colossians 4:3-4, 1 Timothy 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:12; 5:10; 10:19; 1 Corinthians 14:10-11, Ephesians 4:9, Hebrews 12:27, Ecclesiastes 12:9, Ecclesiastes 12:10, Luke 1:3-4, Acts 11:4, 1 Corinthians 1:17, Ephesians 3:4, 2 Peter 3:16, 2 Corinthians 1:13, Deuteronomy 27:8, Mark 8:32 p. 177
  • “Unless one is a genius, it is best to aim at being intelligible.” Anthony Hope Hawkins p. 178
  • Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer. p. 178
  • Proverbs 16:23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. p. 179
  • Did they mean to say that in such an unloving and disrespectful manner? p. 180
  • Before hitting send, we must ask, Is this person on the same page with me?  When I am unaware of another’s ignorance but talk to that person as though he or she knows what I now, I will be unclear. p. 184
  • Just because we are well meaning is no reason to believe others know our meaning. p. 189
  • Though I think this remark is humorous, will the other person hear it as hurtful? p. 197
  • When we put off the inevitable, we put off people.  In trying to make both sides happy by not being for one side and against the other, we make both sides unhappy with us for being crafty. p. 202
  • Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. p. 209
  • Because we love the truth, we will make sure the other clearly understands the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
  • Because we need people to know our kind intentions, we will make sure they clearly  know that we are seeking to be loving and respectful people as we relay this information.
  • Because we need to communicate what is necessary, we will make sure they clearly grasp the essentials that are vital for them to know. p. 216
  • 1 Corinthians 14:9 Unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? p. 223
  • Proverbs 6:2-3 If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, have been caught with the words of of your mouth, do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor. p. 226
  • When you want to maintain the best possible relationship both with the one you offended as well as with God, you will make things right regardless of whether others do or do not and regardless of how things “worked” for your family while growing up. p. 226
  • Am I about to communicate unto others in the way I would want others to communicate unto me? p. 228
  • If I had been communicated to in the untrue, unkind, unnecessary, or unclear way that I have just communicated, would I want the offender to apologize to me, the offended? p. 228

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