Engage with those God put in your life

We’ve been taking a look at the battle between technology and our desire to stay connected in real-life relationships.

The problem is not only that we have disengaged, but we are becoming rude and inconsiderate on levels we would have never thought possible a few years ago. And what’s sad, we don’t even seem to realize what we are doing.

Imagine you are having lunch or a meeting with someone and right in the middle of your conversation or presentation, they pull out a book and just start reading. After reading a page or two, they put the book down and look you in the eye again.

While we would never think of reading a book while someone is talking to us, isn’t that about the same thing as what we are doing when we are checking Facebook, email and text messages in the middle of a conversation?

Imagine having a conversation with someone and they decide to walk off and have a conversation with someone else while you are still talking. In a roundabout way, isn’t that what we are doing when we are face to face with someone, that we say is important to us, but the entire time we are looking at a screen?

I want to be present and engaged with the people God brings into my life. Every time the phone beeps, buzzes or vibrates there is something within me that can’t stand not to look at it.

Whenever we are tempted to respond to urgency of technology, it might be good to pause in that moment and be reminded of what’s important. A ringing phone is urgent but often not important. Real relationships with real people are what matters most.

You may miss out on something online, but don’t miss out on what is happening right in front of you. Don’t miss out on your marriage. Don’t miss out on your children as they are growing up right in front of you. Don’t miss out on the moments that matter most in life, most of which have nothing to do with your phone or iPad.

First John 3:18 challenges us to “not merely say that we love each other” but instead “show the truth by our actions.” People sense that you care about them when you are present and engaged in their lives.

Don’t be a slave to a screen. Technology can supplement, but it will never replace the importance of close, personal, intimate relationships with the people God has placed in your life.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.