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Christian Life, Relationships, young adults

Security Devices

September 27, 2016




Have you noticed how we use our phones as escape routes from uncomfortable situations? In a conversation with someone new there’s an awkward pause, so you whip out your phone to check time/weather/facebook/texts. You’re walking down the hallway and have to pass someone you don’t really feel like talking with, so you pull out your phone and keep your head down, safe knowing that you have an excuse for not interacting. You’re at a party and not sure who to talk to, so you find a quiet corner, pull out your phone, and start scrolling through some social media feed, immediately feeling safely insulated from loneliness.

When our phones become security devices and means of escaping the uncomfortable, they’re taking on a role that Jesus is meant to play in our lives. To the extent that we do that, we’re making our phones into little electronic gods, worshipping them for the way they protect us by devoting our attention to them. Let’s not do that. I’ve written before about the danger of finding security in anything other than Jesus, so I won’t re-hash that point here.

But that’s not the only problem with going to our phones as a means of escape. On top of subtly allowing our phones to become gods, using an electronic device as a means of escape from human connection is making a huge statement about what is valuable to us. When we choose a comfortable, digitally-mediated world of social media over the opportunity for direct human connection we’re declaring that we don’t value the person in front of us. We’re declaring that our comfort is more valuable than another person’s God-imaged humanity. That we will gain more from our phone than we would from them.

Let’s not be people who turn to our security devices at the least sign of awkwardness or discomfort. Instead let’s press into conversations, honoring one another by giving each other our full focus. If you’re in a large group gathering and left standing by yourself, rather than turning to your phone look for someone else who’s by themselves and go connect with them. If you’re in a conversation and there’s an awkward silence don’t check the time – instead smile, remind yourself that quiet is ok, and compliment the other person about something small.

In all of this let’s turn first to Jesus, the only one who truly gives security and peace and power to connect with one another. Don’t replace him with a 4-inch LCD screen.




Best Of, Christian Life, Commentary, Relationships

Love Promoter

October 19, 2015

We Christ-followers should be known for our love. Known for the way insults and offenses simply slide off of us. Known for our imperturbable friendship. Sadly more often than not we’re known for our bigotry, bias, judgment, and being easily offended.

Let’s take a moment and soak in the wisdom of the words from Proverbs 17:

Whoever promotes love covers over an offense,
but he who repeats the matter separates close friends. (NIV)

Or, put another way,

Whoever conceals an offense promotes love,
but whoever gossips about it separates friends. (HCSB)

Which are you going to operate as today? A love promoter or a friend separator?

Follow the leader. Take your cues from Jesus. He paid with his own life to silence Satan’s repetitions of our sins, casting them away beyond anyone’s reach, as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103).

Jesus’ primary act of love wasn’t his healing or his teaching; it was his covering of our offenses. In the same way, your ultimate act of love today will be the way you pass over the offenses that come against you.

Let’s learn how to let the small frustrations go and instead find joy in Christ. Let’s learn how to address the big issues honestly and then forgive them, covering them with grace for the sake of love, never bringing them up again. Let’s become the kind of people who others know they can entrust themselves to as close friends.

When that happens they can’t help but meet Jesus. Let’s be love promoters, not friend separators. In Jesus’ name.





Those Winter Nights

December 10, 2010

There was no need for light, as we raced across the glassy lake, dancing and playing upon the winter’s oceans. We had the stars, had each other, and that was all that we needed. Not the world, not the moon who hid himself in shadow, and certainly not the warmth of the house a hundred thousand miles away.

We laughed at the cold and at each other’s jokes, catching as many shooting stars as we could with our eyes as the ice beneath us left us shivering. But that never mattered. Each of us was warm with life, with the cold beauty of the crisp midnight sky. The winds blew, trying their hardest to turn us from the night an back to the glare of lights inside, but we only laughed all the harder at each other’s futile attempts to strip some extra warmth from the few blankets we had.

And there we lay, oblivious to the roads and houses and people that lived worlds away, caring for nothing but the company we kept and the brilliance of the galaxy and God that made the darkness all the more beautiful. We had everything we could ever need; life, love, and beauty, both in the heavens and in our small, huddled group.

And the time came, as we knew it would, to fly back to the world and leave behind the midnight. So we ran, danced, laughed, and lived. Upon winter white and frozen oceans, at midnight – beneath stars and above the ice, hearts can be brought to life.