Stop Texting, Facebooking, and Messaging!
2John 12 ¶ Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
3John 13 ¶ I have much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink;
3John 14 instead I hope to see you soon, and we will talk together face to face.
Interestingly here in 2nd and 3rd John we find the same sentiment — instead of using pen and ink, it would be much more pleasant to see these dear people face to face and have a conversation. There’s too much to be said by simply writing it down and instead there is great joy to be known in being face to face and sharing the things of our hearts with one another.
Technology has brought with it some great joys, but also some great challenges. My son-in-law was telling me how quiet the lunch room is at the High School where he teaches. Quiet? Yes, they are all busy on their electronic devices. No one is talking to anyone, they are all texting someone else. Or, how often have you sat down for dinner at a restaurant lately and nearly everyone gets out their cell phones and begins to check what’s happening in different places. Personally, I like the idea of stacking the phones on the table and the first one to reach has to pay the bill!
We may laugh at these trends but is there something that we can learn from John? Jesus came and reminded us that the Law could be summed up by loving God and loving neighbor! Are we trying to love our neighbor electronically, rather than face to face, in person, and making a difference! There is something about the protective distance of electronic communication. We don’t have to become personally engaged in the lives of these individuals. Instead, we can communicate from a safe distance.
Maybe John was onto something and we ought to stop texting, fbing, and messaging and go be with one another. Maybe we ought to put on the tea pot and sit around the table, look one another in the eye, and enjoy real conversation. This is how we share ourselves with others, and we learn the hearts of others. God wants us to love him and love our neighbors. Let’s intentionally put down the electronic devices and go, visit with our friends, family and neighbors, face to face!
Over and over again in the word we are urged to seek the face of God. There is something powerful about looking into the face of God and becoming a reflection of Him. It is only in those face to face relationships with one another that we can help to bring about His transformation in the world. Let’s not be lulled into a kind of security that comes from behind a computer screen. Instead, let’s get our hands dirty and engage in a world that desperately needs to see a face to face reflection of Jesus Christ!
Thank you for the privilege of a face to face and nose to nose relationship with you. Amen.