I am wondering what we all think about when we hear the word connect. For many of us we might be thinking of technology like the internet and cell phones. We live in a culture that talks about being connected all the time. It is said that if we are connected then things are easier and we can have all the knowledge that is needed to be successful in our lives. From work to social media the whole point of it all (we are told) is about being connected, networking and information sharing. We also think that being connected will let us get more done or if we are done with what we need to do then we won’t get bored because we can take our entertainment with us or we can all be in one place and be entertained differently all at the same time. I guess my question is, “Have we suffered a disconnect with all of this connecting?”
Maybe we need to ask the question of why are we really “connecting” to all these things. I have personally looked through my phone and discovered something very interesting. Most of the apps that I have on there are all about me. My music, my movies and shows, my interests and my entertainment. Now, I am not saying that any of them is bad in themselves, it’s just interesting. I have been watching people as of late as they interact with others, you know, when eating together or hanging out with others and even going to church together. Here are just a few things of what I have observed and these are in no particular order.
There is less conversation than there use to be.
Ok, so there is more data being shared and people are texting and sending emails and pictures to each other more than ever before, but I am talking about the art of conversation. Where we face each other and we learn to read body language and we can see the emotion in the eyes of those we are talking to. I have seen people sitting right next to each other and never make eye contact but are sending each other text messages. They have shared information and to help them convey how they are feeling with little smilie faces. But have they ever really reached the heart of that person?
There is more superficial knowledge and less intimate knowledge of each other.
In this age of “connecting” what we have really done is tried to protect ourselves from being vulnerable with each other. We can have lots of “friends and followers” with less of a chance of getting hurt. This may sound good at first but I really don’t think that is reality. I believe life is full of risks and without these we can’t learn how to deal with difficult things or how would Jesus respond to the hard thing. What this has done is built in a false sense of security and then when we do get hurt (oh and this is inevitable – Jesus even said that we will have trouble), we are even more angry and shocked because we have not learned how to deal with people on this level.
On the other side of this is that we share so much about ourselves trying to overcompensate for a lack of intimacy with each other that we are super sensitive when someone challenges us or even straight out says we are wrong. You see we have lost the ability to deal with hard things because we have insulated ourselves to the point of being alone in a room full of people.
This has effected our ability to share about our relationship with Jesus.
This is a problem as a disciple of Christ who has been called to share Jesus (by the way that’s all of us not just those in full time ministry). I believe this is why we are seeing a increased non-Jesus-like reactions to things from the body of Christ. If we can’t learn to deal with these hard things we will have less influence on situations and people around us. The body of Christ must learn the art of relationship, the art of face to face communication and the art of speaking hard things with love, grace and mercy. The body of Christ needs to stop taking on other people’s offenses and learn what God wants when it comes to reconciliation. This is going to take some work. We will have to study, pray and fast and seek His face as we learn to walk this out.
Well, I want you to know that I believe that technology can be a good thing and an awesome tool for the Kingdom of God. It can also make life easier and more efficient. But we must keep things in balance. We take classes on how to better understand technology but when was the last time we evaluated our ability to have a face to face conversation or to the ability to be vulnerable. When was the last time we made an effort to better ourselves in the arts of relationships? I believe that Jesus gave us amazing examples of how this in done in the Bible. So, I guess I am saying maybe its time we disconnected at times and re-connect with His word and with those He has placed in our lives.
“Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18–20 (HCSB)
25 Just then an expert in the law stood up to test Him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the law?” He asked him. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. r28 “You’ve answered correctly,” He told him. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus took up the question and said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. 34 He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”
Luke 10:25–37 (HCSB)
“7 We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10 for the administration of the days of fulfillment —to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.” Ephesians 1:7–10 (HCSB)
In His Grip,