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Why “face to face” communication is still the best! 2 John

It is so easy to Facebook, Instagram, text, tweet, or email.

Though these are valuable communication tools, our culture is in danger of on neglecting face to face human contact.

In the US we spend an average of 7.4 hours staring at a screen! 

According Quartz, “That breaks down to 147 minutes spent watching TV, 103 minutes in front of a computer, 151 minutes on a smartphones and 43 minutes with a tablet.”

These are not all bad communication tools, but spending so much time in front of a screens is taking away from our time with real people!

In the book of 2 John is a very short letter and John ends it like this.

“I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.” 2 John 1:12

John didn’t want to settle for communication via the technology of the day (writing).  He wanted to see these people face to face for two reasons.

1. Some things are better said in person.

When you have something serious to discuss it is often best to talk face to face.

For example, don’t break up with someone over text! Most of the time clearing up relationships and “touch” conversations are better done in person. People need to see your face and feel your compassion when you are saying hard things.  Written words don’t often convey how you really feel well.

2. Face to face communication yields the most joy.

The phrase “Then our joy will be complete” is important. 

There is no substitute for the joy real human interaction.

One reason many or us are lonely and depressed is because we spend time more time with screens than with with people. We are simultaneously the most connected and the most lonely generation.

I encourage you this Christmas season to spend time with the people you love face to face. There is no substitute.

Check out this powerful video on loneliness and social media.

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo.

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in 2 John  in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Are you willing to suffer for Jesus in obscurity? Hebrews 11:20-40

From my reading in Hebrews 11:20-40 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Modern people love to be noticed, and Christians are not immune.

We love to show what we are doing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Many of us desire to be famous. We don’t want to go through life unnoticed.

Hebrews 11 is also known as “The Hall of Faith.”

Some of the most famous men and women of the Bible are listed. Imagine you are walking along the Hollywood walk of fame looking at all the stars then you look down and see one that says “others…”

This is basically what is happening in this passage. The writer lists famous people of the faith like Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. But then he says this about others…

Others were tortured and refused to accept their freedom so they could be raised from the dead to a better life. Some were laughed at and beaten. Others were put in chains and thrown into prison. They were stoned to death, they were cut in half, and they were killed with swords. Some wore the skins of sheep and goats. They were poor, abused, and treated badly. The world was not good enough for them! They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and holes in the earth.” Hebrews 11:35b–38 

These unnamed men and women willingly suffered for Jesus.

These “others” endured…

  • Torture
  • Death
  • Mocking
  • Flogging
  • Imprisonment
  • Stoning
  • Being cut in half
  • Killed by swords
  • Inadequate clothing
  • Poverty
  • Abuse
  • Homelessness

The others didn’t gain any fame from what they suffered. They did it for Jesus’ sake. Tweet This

The writer of Hebrews describes these men and women this way.

The world was not good enough for them!” Hebrews 11:38

We should honor the men and women who willingly suffer for Jesus. We should also ask ourselves…

Am I willing to suffer for Jesus in obscurity like one of the others?

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Confessions of A Recovering Approval Addict – Rom 2

From my reading in Romans 2 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

I am a recovering approval addict.

In my past, I have cared way too much what others think of me. I still get a little nervous going into social situations because I want to make a good impression.

Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Many of us change who we are to fit the status quo of those around us. Many of us check our Facebook or Instagram at least once an hour to see who liked our post. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans says something powerful about whom we are trying to please. He is talking to people who are trying to impress others and be right with God by following Jewish laws, like being circumcised.

“No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people” Rom 2:29

A person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, NOT PEOPLE!

Religious people are especially vulnerable to falling into the approval trap. If you play the game, say the prayers and do the good deeds, then you are seen as holy. But someone who truly pleases God is one who is humbly living to glorify God.

Who are you trying to get praised by? People or God?

I challenge you to live for God and stop worrying so much about what people think!

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Whose “Like” Are You Living For? God’s Or People On Facebook? – Luke 23:1-25

From my reading in Luke 23:1-25 in the One Year New Testament.

Pilate was an insecure leader.

He feared what the crowds thought so much that he was willing to crucify Jesus, even though he found no fault in him.

The reason he found no fault in him was because there was no fault to be found! Jesus was the only person who was 100% innocent, because he never sinned.

Three times Pilate tried to get out of the pickle he found himself in but the crowds demanded Jesus be crucified.

“But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed.” Luke 23:23

Their voices prevailed.

The crowd was able to convince a leader to go against his conscious and murder an innocent man.

I think all leaders struggle with this issue on some level. We want the people we lead to be happy.

But when a leader cares more about what his followers think than what God thinks, sin is not far away.

Even if you are not a “leader” per say, it is still common for us to let the crowds control us. Often our “crowd” is on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Whose “like” are you more worried about? 

God’s or the people on Facebook?

I am challenged to not let myself be drawn away from what God wants me to do in order to please the crowds.

When a leader is set free from the slavery of pleasing the masses, they can get on with pleasing the one who really matters!

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