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
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.
- Is this something appropriate to text?
- Would it be best to discuss in person?
- 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?
Questions 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
August 31, 2017 at 11:01 am | Uncategorized