“Although I have much to write to you, I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. But I hope to come to you and speak face to face so that our joy may be full.” (2 John 1:12)
We could relate this same verse to modern times by changing the words “paper and ink” to “text messages.” It seems as though we’ve become experts at avoiding face to face conversations. Just the other day, I saw a family at a restaurant, six people, all glued to their cell phones. Some of us might be just as guilty of this behavior.
It’s as if we don’t want to talk anymore. I remember as a child, that I would write letters to my grandparents, because they lived far away, and long distance phone calls were expensive. As the years passed, prices became more affordable, and we spoke every now and then, still watching that we didn’t spend too much. Once computers started to become household items, email became a preferred method of communication. Cell phones started out as being something that only the wealthy could afford. As that changed, they became more widespread, and now everyone has one.
I remember when video chatting came around. It was great! You could see the person on the other side, no matter how far away they were. It was like something out of a James Bond movie. But it never caught on. To this day, most people won’t use it. They’d prefer to send text messages. A conversation that could be had in five minutes can take an hour or longer. And the only way to express emotion is to change the size of the letters. Some people never even speak on their phones. But they’ve trained their thumbs to move faster than the speed of light.
John understood the importance of face to face conversations. As great a writer as he was, he still knew that his voice was more powerful than his words on paper, and that looking someone in the eye is more effective than looking anywhere else. Today, more people look down into their lap than into each other’s eyes.
Technology in itself is great. It allows us to do things we never dreamed of. But just like all good things, mankind keeps turning it into a tool to create further separation between ourselves. It’s designed to bring us all closer, but we don’t use it that way, do we?
God also wants to bring us all closer, to Him and to each other. But man has once again gotten in the way, and instead, we use His word to separate us. What is it that we fear? Why are we worried about being close, and about looking each other in the eye and speaking? Are we so protective of our emotions that we’re worried about being offended, or offending others? I have an idea. Always speak the truth.
God has given us the truth, in His word. For thousands of years, it’s been picked apart and twisted, often beyond recognition. People want it to say what they want to hear, so they convince themselves that what they believe is true, even when it isn’t. But it doesn’t work that way.
We need God, and we need each other. “It is not good for man to be alone..” (Genesis 2:18). It isn’t. But when we isolate ourselves even when we’re in each others’ company, it’s as if we’re alone. We have to learn to communicate more with our mouths and our eyes, and less with our thumbs.
Today, call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, or better yet, pay them a visit in person. It really makes a difference.
Have a great day everyone!