Last Sunday, I was not feeling well and I thought to myself, “I guess I will have to watch church online this week.” I am not the biggest fan of doing that, because it can quickly blind us from the importance of going to church and being surrounded by other believers. It made me realize how fast our society is shifting to little to no face-to-face interaction. It is no secret that our society is changing rapidly, and as a result, we are losing a sense of community. (Disclaimer: There is no shame in watching church online or listening to podcasts, BUT my fear is that it will soon replace church as a body of believers. As a result, we will lose the ability to be “of one spirit and of one mind” as Paul states in Philippians 1:27.) With social media, instant messaging, online shopping, online payments, online courses, and live streaming, we are slowly losing the ability to have deep and meaningful relationships.
Relationships involve both intentional time and communication. Without the two, it is impossible to have a real relationship. Dear readers, it scares me to think how far we have drifted from these deep, meaningful, and intentional relationships. It is as if we have swapped deep conversations and quality time with one another for people’s “best selves” shown through photos and light-hearted responses on social media. It saddens me to see photos in which people are secretly struggling, but are smiling with perfect smiles and trying their best to hide what is really at war deep within them. I know that this is the case because I am also guilty of this. Where are we, brothers and sisters? Why are we so far away from one another’s hearts? Are we losing our like-minds as a result of society’s shift?
Calling all my brothers and sisters
I remember thinking last week, “When was the last time I let my loved ones know how much they mean to me?” I don’t think anything could have broken my heart more than that thought. If I’m being honest, which I hope to always be through these blogs, it has been quite a while. I say “love you!” or “hope you’re doing well!” but why does it end at that? I have been failing to really listen to their hearts or seek to encourage them in their paths of life. Precious readers, if that is you as well, it is not too late to change that.
It should be our mission to take our relationships deeper. To have open communication and to spend intentional time listening can help with this. Paul stated in Philippians 1:8, “For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” To yearn means to have an intense longing for something. Paul had such a deep love for his brothers and sisters that he had an intense desire for them to succeed spiritually when he was away. Oh, to love my brothers and sisters in much like Paul did. Sometimes people simply need to know that they are noticed, loved, and appreciated. May it be our earnest desire to not only think of our friends, or perhaps say a quick prayer when they come to mind, but to let them know that you care for them, pray over their lives, and are there for them in all walks of life.
Community is powerful
Over and over again, Paul mentions the importance of a body of believers. Why is this the case? There is strength when we are joined together and united by the blood of Jesus. It is a lot harder to fight battles on your own than it is to fight them with the help of other believers. Not only should we take on the whole armor of God for our own spiritual life, but for the lives of our brothers and sisters. The devil loves to make us feel isolated and lonely. One of his greatest tactics is to get us away from our brothers and sisters because it is a lot easier to fight one than an army.
I found myself in a place of total isolation about a month ago. I had hit rock bottom in a specific struggle, and my boyfriend encouraged me to start talking. It was time that I reached out to people for help and comfort. He reminded me that people love me and want to help me. As strange as it sounds, I had almost forgotten people knew I was still around, let alone cared to take on my struggles with me. Isn’t it crazy how much the devil wants to warp our thinking and keep us from the truth? In that moment of truth, it became clear that I was trying to fight this all on my own instead of allowing Christ to provide people to help me fight. Although it has been a challenge, there is victory in communicating with my loved ones because they help shield me from the fiery darts of the devil. Sometimes the devil’s lies seem so true until I vocalize them to my loved ones and realize how false they are. There is strength in being united, brothers and sisters!
If you are feeling isolated, lonely, or unseen, perhaps it is time for you to reach and to build relationships once again. (I am always available to be a listening ear or to help carry your burden!) No one was meant to fight his or her battles alone. If you know of someone fighting serious battles, seek to be intentional with them. Show them steadfast love and support. May we accept the challenge of building relationships once again!