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Can I Send a Text Message to God?

Text, Adobe Spark

Sending text messages to God.

It sounds ludicrous but not that far-fetched in the digital habits and minds of today’s young people and adults.

Sure, it seems like a reasonable question in a culture where personal communication is going out of style. No one wants to look us in the eye and tell us how they feel about themselves or about us. Or communicate face-to-face to resolve a conflict.

So it’s not surprising as I sat in a meeting a few weeks ago and learned of high school students who admitted they don’t know how to pray. But the same students know how to text and spend hours each day talking to others this way.

Isn’t prayer simply talking to our heavenly Father? Communicating with God on a deep-soul level.

A Do-not List for Sending Text Messages

For almost nine years, I served as student director at our church. During that time, I consistently discussed with middle and high school students the appropriate way to communicate when sending text messages. Tips the adults in our culture could stand to follow, me too.

A list of things not to handle by text message:

  • Break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Seriously?
  • Bully or belittle the person on the other side of the screen.This is just wrong on so many levels and adults are guilty of this too.
  • Discuss issues on an emotional level or get into an argument. Here, we run the risk of being misunderstood. In texting, there’s no inflection of our voice, facial expressions to further convey our emotions, or even complete and well thought out sentences.

Yet it seems the general mindset believes “anything and everything goes” nowadays when it comes to texting.

And don’t mishear me saying texting is a bad thing in and of itself. I text every day. Three to four mornings a week, I send a Scripture, an inspirational quote or thought to a small group of my family and friends. Asking others to pray for me is often accomplished by texting.

Also, text messages go back and forth about meeting dates and times, schedules, and even a sweet love note to or from my husband.

What and How We Text text, Adobe Spark

But what and how we text reveals our integrity, our respect for others, common courtesy, and says a lot about who we are—our character.

Perhaps we need to evaluate the easy-comfort-coward-way-out we often use in texting to avoid interpersonal communication. Especially when we have other means to share and exchange information.

Have you ever stopped and wondered what we did before texting came on the scene? The younger generation has no idea how to function without it. It’s sad that while texting is a good tool for quick messaging, it’s replacing the greatest ways to connect with others on a deeper level.

So maybe the answer to whether we should text a message or not lies in several factors.

  1. Is this something appropriate to text?
  2. Would it be best to discuss in person?
  3. If I won’t see this person, is a phone call a better choice?

People on Phones Vs. People in Person

One final note. Talking to people on the other side of the screen and ignoring the people on the other side of the table or room, also says a lot about us. We’ve become a culture that places more value in communicating on a surface level with our fingers and not on a deeper level with our hearts.

A person’s physical presence should trump the presence of someone on our phone. #digital #faith Click To Tweet

So how does all this effect our faith?

text, Adobe SparkQuestions to consider:

If we receive a text message during our study of God’s Word or prayer, do we immediately engage with the person on our phone and disengage with God?

Are we spending hours texting or on social media? Yet spend a mere few minutes talking to God, worshipping Him, or studying His Word.

Do we unplug and take a break from social media and our devices?

I like the way Pastor Chris Hodges says it…

“My soul rests when I unplug from social media. Quieting my soul helps me operate in the anointing of God.”

 

The Lord is near to all who call on him. Psalm 145:18a NIV #prayer #God Click To Tweet

Read last week’s post, How to Turn Down the Volume in a Noisy World.

Do you take a break, unplug from social media and devices? Why? Tell us in the comments.

Images courtesy of Adobe Spark.

© 2017 by Karen Friday, All Rights Reserved

Post part of these link ups: Salt & Light, Crystal Twadell/Fresh Market Friday, Crystal Storms/Heart Encouragement, Meg Gemelli/GRITupAndGoSuzanne Eller/Living Free.

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August 31, 2017 at 11:01 am | Uncategorized


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good tips on communication via e-media. i think you are right on when you said “We’ve become a culture that places more value in communicating on a surface level with our fingers and not on a deeper level with our hearts.” and who knows what damage has been done to relationships when we are quick to answer a text and ignore the people present in the room. as far as our relationship with God, all e-media need to be put aside to quieten our hearts to hear from Him. To answer a text or call during prayer, reveals what we value the most and should make us very uncomfortable to realize that anything comes before Him. thanks!

Karen says:

I agree, Karen. We are causing emotional damage to our relationships. We live in a culture where personal communication is going out of style. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Blessings!

This is really, really good Karen…I’m sharing this…I’ve been thinking a lot about my generation, and the upcoming, generation…but my generation has fallen into the same mind set as everyone else…it takes someone coming up for air long enough to say, “Hey…this needs to be addressed….” Thank you Karen for doing that!!! I love it. As children of the Royal King of Heaven…we must become more disciplined to the awareness of what God is saying, and listen to the Holy Spirit as he nudges us to turn off the media and get back in touch with those around us! Instead of entertaining our virtual friendships all the time…be in touch with our friends with skin. LOL!!! Great post!

Karen says:

Thank you, Marla. Yes, I like what you said. “Be in touch with our friends with skin.” So true. We’ve become a culture that places more value in communicating on a surface level with our fingers and not on a deeper level with our hearts. Hugs!

Great content, Karen!

Great content, Karen!

Karen says:

Thanks, Shira. Talking to people on the other side of the screen and ignoring the people on the other side of the table or room says a lot about us.

It truly does, Karen. Awareness helps us to make better or should I say, the best choice. Once we’ve heard a sound, wise and liberating message, it’s up to us to make a change or stay stuck in the madness. Again, great content. God bless.

Julie says:

Great tips about texting! Definitely going to make sure I’m texting in a way that honors God. I’m sharing this with my daughter!
Visiting from #HeartEncouragement

Karen says:

Thank you, Julie. And glad you are going to share with your daughter. We often use texting to avoid interpersonal communication. Especially when we have other means to share and exchange information. Thanks for visiting!

Lesley says:

I agree, there are certain things that just aren’t appropriate by text. For the important conversations I much prefer talking to someone face to face, and we need to be careful to focus on the person we’re with. I once had a work meeting where the person I was talking to was texting the whole time. I managed not to say anything but after a while it got really annoying! Texting and social media are great in many ways but it is important to consider how to use them well.

Karen says:

Great points, Lesley. Thanks for sharing your personal experience. I’ve had that happen at meetings too. What and how we text reveals our integrity, our respect for others, common courtesy, and says a lot about who we are—our character. Blessings!

Glad to see this being hashed out. The rules do seem to be changing for what needs a face to face contact, but I prefer that, or at least voice to voice on an actual phone call.

Karen says:

Thank you for commenting, Michele. Yes, the rules are changing in a world where personal communication is not the “in” thing anymore. Agree, face to face or voice to voice. 🙂

Meg Gemelli says:

It’s an epidemic…and not just texting. There have been so many times that I’ve just had to walk away from social media. People forget that the human behind the screen exists-complete with feelings and astute memories. My kids are just 6 and 8. I often wonder what types of challenges they’ll face in the next 10 years or so. God, help us all to engage in real relationships!

Karen says:

Thank you for commenting, Meg. Yes, nothing is far-fetched anymore. Seems anything and everything goes and it’s all sad to me where we are and where we’re headed with real communication taking a back seat.

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