Skip to main content

Beware of that device in your hand

I fear we go through our days and weeks without much communication anymore - real, genuine, heartfelt communication between two individuals struggling to make it through the day-to-day stuff they each face.  In fact, we pull out our phones at the dinner table to check for instant messages, read the latest posts on social media sites, and evaluate the latest stuff trending on YouTube.  We've lost the art of sharing - of just being real with each other - discussing the regular stuff of life and just listening to each other.  I don't expect my best friend to correct me each time we talk together, but there have been times when she just puts in a word here or there which actually help to get me out of my funk, turn my attitude around from one of "self-whatever" to one of really thinking things through from the other person's perspective, or just helping me to decide if I want to buy the new counter tops or not.  Sometimes her words encourage me; at other times they kind of change my course of thinking.  All of her words are important to me because we have come to value the sharing of these things with each other.  I think we need these frequent times of just sharing with each other - even if it is done while strolling along the sidewalk in an after lunch walk, or just sitting back on the couch with feet up and coffee in hand.  We need to put down our phones, tablets, and other electronic devices often enough to actually look at the other person across from us - in so doing, we might  just be challenged, encouraged, reminded of something forgotten, or just plain dazzled by the brilliance of the other person we are with!

A truly good friend will openly correct you. You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies. If you have had enough to eat, honey doesn’t taste good, but if you are really hungry, you will eat anything. (Proverbs 27:5-7 CEV)

The sad truth today is that we have so few of these type of deep relationships with others - resorting to the shallowness of social networking instead.  Let me just tell you this - no social media "connection" I have can embrace me when I need a hug, nor can they really "feed me" what I need in order to grow up in Christ as I should.  People who are really, really hungry will eat almost anything - won't they?  That means we will be open to whatever comes our way.  I was strolling through my media feed this morning and came across some rather vulgar and just not so edifying posts.  I had to hide them almost immediately, saying I did not want to see this type of stuff from this type of media feed any longer.  Those things don't build anyone up, so why have them crossing our line of thought?  It spoke to me once again of how people will "feed" on anything when they lack the closeness of true social connection which occurs when you are building relationships of accountability and depth with another individual.

Some rules of thumb when it comes to building relationships which will build you up rather than tear your down:

- Up close and personal is best.  We can gain a lot of knowledge just watching people. I am a people watcher.  As I recently am back from vacation, I enjoyed a week or so of people watching at the airports, in the lines waiting for rides at the theme parks, and even just hanging out at a restaurant table waiting for my meal.  I am always sensitive to how much parents are resorting to media devices these days to actually "entertain" their kids instead of their kids finding their entertainment with each other and with their parents.  I think a few minutes on the video games is okay - it won't warp their brains as long as it is a pretty "clean" game for them to play.  If it takes the place of all social contact - that is where the line is being crossed.  When kids resort to this instead of running, jumping, and engaging in creative moments of make-believe play, it is robbing them of their ability to become truly connected with other individuals later on in life.  We need contact - we need to struggle through issues together - not behind a screen.  Some of us adults would do well to refrain from a little of the "media time" and just be "entertained" in conversation with someone sitting across from us or right beside us!

- We need others to challenge our way of thinking, acting, and responding.  We only grow when we are challenged.  I have trees I have grown from seeds in my backyard.  They have grown stronger because of the challenges they face - especially the prevailing winds and the long, hot seasons.  The challenges they face actually cause them to put down deeper roots and to develop flexible limbs which will "give" with the winds.  We grow where we are challenged.  We are challenged best when we are living in "plain view" of others who help us to be accountable for our actions.  Close, personal contact with another will often challenge our way of thinking - making us consider why we chose a certain course of thought, while rejecting another.  Sometimes we will still think the same way, because we find our choice of thought has been correct, but that little challenge we were given helped to clarify and solidify our choice of thought.  We need to be challenged - we need the interaction in order to realize the challenge.  Whether that interaction is with God himself, or with a close friend by our side, we can only grow from those interactions we take time to create and engage in.

- We may not realize we have pulled away until we realize how hungry we are for true intimate contact with another human being.  The danger isn't realized when we first begin to pull away from relationships and pull-into some form of social isolation, but it is a really dangerous place to dwell too long.  We need to consider our actions in light of how they make another feel or how they will interpret our actions.  I am ever so aware of this when mom mentions that I am playing my games too much on my tablet - or she makes some comment about wishing she had the ability to entertain herself playing a game of solitaire or the like on one of these devices.  I know what she is saying is that I need to put it down, spend a little time just chatting with her, letting her in on what my day held, and just listening to the stuff she faced that day while I was away at work.  It isn't "deep" conversation, but it is adding "depth" to our relationship.  I think this is the most important part we often  miss - the conversations don't have to be deep - they just have to be consistent, considerate, and compassionate.  In short order, we find a depth created which will be our "go-to" when we really need those moments of "deep conversation" to help us make tough decisions or change the course of action we are about to take which may be all wrong for us in the end.  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean