Good Morning! Thank you for stopping to read what God has given me to share with you. I hope that it will be as much of a help to you as it has been for me. While it is a wonderful thing to have the technology we have today, I think we all (myself included!) can use the following reminders…
I am beginning to see that there’s just no substitute for face-to-face time with people you love or are trying to disciple. The other day I found myself instant messaging another staff person who was in the adjacent room to my office! I began to realize just how much I use my computer to converse with those closest to me. I couldn’t believe that I had taken this plunge into technology – which could very easily get me what I wanted, but lose what I have! That day, my morning devotions began with “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12).Face-to-face contact is priceless.
Voice mail, e-mail, and blogging may cause us to think that we are connecting with one another, but these tools are misleading. When this type of communication becomes the “norm”, they can make us “a mile wide and an inch deep”. Recently, I spoke with a friend and asked him for his email address. He was kind enough to give it to me, but then he added, “but could you use it sparingly? I would much rather hear your voice. It is your spirit that has always helped me, and I cannot hear that through an email or from text messages.” Those words stunned me! I realized that technology is out of touch with what people really need to be properly discipled and exhorted.
The apostle John wrote the following, “Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full” (2 John 12).
It seems that Scriptures of long ago had words for us bloggers and e-mailers today! Technology can fool me into thinking I’ve “connected” with dozens of people only requiring a few seconds at my computer keyboard. Instant Messaging may make me efficient, but it doesn’t help anyone to become known more deeply, down where we yearn to be known. Tweets can be fun, fast, and simple, but they can never replace a face-to-face exchange. Though I see great promise in these types of communication for spreading the Good News, and I am confident that God will use it to bring many into His kingdom, I do fear that we could forget the impact of our undivided attention in face-to-face conversations with those God brings into our lives.
So what’s the remedy? It comes packaged in a commodity we hold most precious…time. Those to whom you mentor need your attention and loving care. Though technology gives us opportunities that we have never had in previous years, (such as the ability to blog!) let us not forget the impact of personal attention as John did when he wrote his letter. Let’s face it, John realized the stimulation of face-to-face exhortation!
Remember, do not forego the face-to-face for the fast pace – but rather, look at what God said in the first place!