Credibility can be defined as “the quality or power of inspiring belief”. Credible sources, must be reasonably reliable sources that provide generally reliable factual information, information that one can reasonably be expected, to believe to be true.
Some might disagree with me but I believe that there is a necessity for a Christian to maintain a level of measured credibility that fosters or enhances the probability of non-believers seriously considering evidence that is presented, evidence that explains why we believe what we believe. The evidence that we present may not necessarily produce the same conclusions that Christians have concluded, but the evidence that we do present, should be able to validate the logical reasoning that we use. Christianity is based on factual historical evidence. Take the time to learn Christianity’s strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to understand it’s history, the positives and the negatives. Take the time to continually study God’s Word, error cannot be detected without knowing God’s Word. And, generally speaking, according to what I read in God’s Word and experience, the most difficult error I face, is my own self. Hence, prayer and communion with God is vital.
If the information that we present for others to consider, does not demonstrate some assurance of viable reasoning, especially as it relates to common methods of validation for accuracy and authenticity, it literally calls into question, everything that we speak about.
If we are witnessing to others about why we believe what we believe and we are sharing with others what Jesus has accomplished in our lives AND AT THE SAME TIME we are using multimedia apps such as Facebook or Twitter, to frequently repost information on subjects that are “questionable at best” or obtained from “proven unreliable sources” at worst, the normal result of this unbalanced approach to “witnessing”, is to produce a perception of us to others, of anticipated unsound reasoning, which is then applied to everything that we say. In other words, we end up destroying our own credibility by our lack of dedication to proper research and study.
CHECK YOUR SOURCES
Just because you see something on the Internet does NOT mean that it is true. Take the time to do your research BEFORE you decide to post something, especially with regard to subjects or topics that later may prove to be unsubstantiated or in fact, deliberate misinformation. Most sources of information (websites, individuals and organizations) have track records or a history for reliability of accuracy. Most “eye catching” accusations should have multiple sources with collaborating information. If there’s no collaborating information available it usually means that it is misinformation. That should raise a red flag. Make sure that the title of the subject that you intend to repost, actually means what it infers. A lot of people have no qualms about over stating an inference or using a misleading title to grab your attention. That means reading the whole post that you intend to repost and doing follow-up internal confirmation (drill down as required). Do your homework BEFORE you hit the publish button. Your loss of personal credibility is not something that can easily be regained.
LIMIT YOUR COMMENTS ON SUBJECTS YOU ARE NOT CONVERSANT WITH
Everyone, sooner or later, gets confronted with the realization that they are endeavouring to discuss a subject that they have not taken the time to become thoroughly conversant with, including the pros and cons. It’s called “getting in over your head”. If you don’t have the required expertise, stay out of the conversation. Learn to appreciate your own “pay grade” and earn the right to advance in conversations by putting in the required time and study.
UNDERSTAND WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS
Do we talk and act differently with our own immediate family members than we do with acquaintances or strangers, especially with regard to spiritual deficiencies, specifically while conversing on multimedia apps? Are there different considerations and awarenesses to be taken into account for them and not for others? Why is it that we can be more considerate or accommodating of our own immediate families spiritual shortfalls than the shortfalls of strangers? And lastly, considering that we will all give account for our words, spoken or written, when was the last time that threats produced a lasting positive response in you? You may not see them but there is a person on the other end of the multimedia app you are conversing with. Picture them in front of you, face to face, person to person and respond accordingly. We are ambassadors for Christ, that is a privilege where we represent Him. What attracted you to Jesus?
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!