Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Face to Face>Facebook

Our church is taking the first two weeks of 2014 to look at the short letters of 2 and 3 John. Combined they are less than 30 verses and under 300 words in Greek. Yet they both conclude with big words that are important for us to hear.

Both letters close with similar words: 

“Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face” (2 Jn 12 ESV).  

Now I am a product of the millennial generation so I do not write letters; I write emails, send texts and use Facebook instead. But the same principle applies: when it comes to our relationships with family and friends or in the church, words spoken face to face are more valuable than words written or typed.

I experienced this just recently. A good friend who lives well over 1,000 miles away came to visit us in our small farming town. He spent the weekend with us, ate meals with us, played with our kids and came to church with us. We had a great time and enjoyed a lot of face to face time. He then left and went on to visit another friend face to face (yes in another farming town even smaller than ours!). 

The point is that my friend placed a priority on the face to face aspect of relationships. Yes, I am friends with him on Facebook and we do send text messages to each other often, but nothing can replace the personal face to face time. The best way to “connect” is not ultimately on Facebook or by email or letters, but face to face. 

Since God left us in his inspired Word this emphasis on face to face time, how will that shape our lives?  How will we spend the bulk of our time in 2014? I’ll bring it a step further and apply it personally: how will my kids remember me? Will they remember a dad who always had his nose buried in the IPad? Or will they remember a dad who constantly looked them in the eye because he valued face to face time with them? 

I sincerely doubt that any of us will look back on our lives and remember much of what was on Facebook. But we will remember the face to face time we had with others, creating memories and enjoying great conversation.  Nothing can replace that.  Face to face time will always be greater than Facebook. 

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