We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Face to Face Relationships

In his book, Missional Church, author Darrell L. Guder writes, “Complex, modern society is a reality for everyone in North America. No one has escaped being shaped by its pervasive influence. It has become the very air that we breathe.”

Perhaps most indicative of the heart of our North American culture is Guder’s assertion that we are surrounded by “multiple tasks and responsibilities that fragment time and space.” This fragmented life results in radical forms of individualism, often manifesting itself in isolation and aloneness.

Fragmentation of time and space may contribute to our modern climate, in which organic relationships have fallen by the wayside of rampant individualism. Life’s demands often make it difficult to build meaningful and trusting relationships -friends are now only a click away.

According to a recent study conducted by a neuroscience group at the University of Southern California, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook do not provide the necessary room to feel compassion or admiration. Our needs have become sterilized and our hearts desensitized to the reality of a fallen world. While we may not be able to turn back the hands of time, we can make a concerted effort to engage in a more personal way with family and friends-face to face and heart to heart.

In a culture that is fast fragmenting time and space, relationships and love, let us be ever more appreciative of those precious relationships that are becoming a rare commodity. May we once again enjoy face-to-face encouragement and value personal accountability! Let us find creative ways to model Christ’s love by nurturing friendships in more tangible and meaningful ways.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:1-4).

Published in: on November 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment