Do You Need to Simplify?

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone…’”
Gen. 2:18a

I have had the privilege of traveling all over the world speaking, writing and studying. Some of my favorite places are little out-of-the-way communities. I enjoy visiting with the various farmers and trades people. They’re usually so genuine and hardworking. We can learn a lot from the simple lifestyle found in a small town.

Face-to-face communication is so important to building deep and lasting relationships. So much of communication is non-verbal. In small towns, front porches don’t just add architectural charm…they serve a practical purpose. People gather to sit, relax, and share life-experiences. Lazy Sunday gatherings with relatives and friends are more appreciated than a marathon of football games or movies on TV.

In much of the world, technology and modern culture seems to have prioritized efficiency over intimacy. Voicemail, text messages, Facebook, and emails may expedite communications, but in reality they distance us from others. It’s almost like we are avoiding personal contact with others. Often we’d rather let a call go to voicemail; we don’t have the time to visit, don’t want to be interrupted, or just don’t want to deal with the caller. And how many times do we get caught in a game of phone-tag? Picking up the phone just to chat with another person is almost a lost exercise. Dropping by is almost unheard of. Many teens use so much text-lingo that they don’t even know how to speak or write normally (this applies to lots of adults too). I’ve actually seen people text-messaging each other in the same room!

What has happened to direct interaction? What are we thinking? Where is the personal touch? Do we really prefer virtual relationships? Meaningful companionship IS wireless, but doesn’t require a satellite, dish, card, or battery.

God designed man for relationship with Him and with each other. He walked with Adam in the cool of the evening as they communicated. He created His church to work as a body—all the parts connect. Scripture urges us to be careful: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Heb. 3:12-13. We’re to work as a team. It may be easier to live in peace with people when we don’t have to deal with them directly and it may be more efficient, but taking the easy road never built character in anybody. Living the life that Christ has called us to brings Him glory, strengthens the body, and grows us into the men
and women God intends us to be.

My friends, God made us for intimacy and communication. Let’s all be challenged to look at our own lives. How have we disconnected? Let’s not so isolate ourselves with the latest gadgets that we forget the power of the spoken word, the importance of an encouraging hug or pat on the back, and the value of sharing our stories and testimonies…face-to-face.

The Power of Truth:

  • “…so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5
  • “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
  • “With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.” Numbers 12:8a

Suggestion for Prayer:

Recommit to being a part of God’s team and ask God how you can better connect to the body of Christ in this disconnected world.