I’ve been thinking more on the implications of issues I touched on in my first post in regards to all our relationships. So my next couple posts will be spin-offs from that; issues I think we all experience but may not have thought through the effects.
Have you ever found yourself at a restaurant (or in the high school cafeteria) and no one at the table is talking, but everyone is on their phones? Why is this? You would think if you are having a meal together then these are probably friends or family you enjoy. But it seems we are so consumed about what we might be missing that we miss out on enjoying who we are with and where we are.
What about this…you are in your car with your teenager sitting captive to your right. You complain that he/she is never at home and when they are at home they don’t talk and shut themselves in their room. But here they are right next to you and you miss the opportunity to talk because you are on your phone talking to someone else.
Or maybe the kid sitting next to you is still a young child and talks your ear off all day long. You long for an outlet so you stay busy on your phone or computer; only years later do you discover now that you are ready to listen, they no longer want to talk.
One more, I know this hurts. It hits me too.
Are you noncommittal on plans because you are waiting to see what better options might come your way. Or in my opinion- worse, you commit to plans you break, because something better did come your way?
All of these situations go back to the consumer vs covenant type relationships. If we are very honest, we too often approach our marriages, children and friendships as if they are not our priority. We show no loyalty, safety or unity toward them. This is probably not how we feel, but nevertheless what is communicated.
As parents we are bothered by the pattern of relating that has developed in our kids because of all the texting and social media. Yet we are no different. We may not be consumed with the same distractions as they are, but we are distracted – filling our time with trivial things and surface-level conversations. Indirectly modeling to them that people are simply a commodity.
Let’s just consider this at a basic level in regard to the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Matthew 7:12 I would gather we all agree the Golden Rule is important; after all that is how it became known as the Golden Rule. Where is that philosophy though when we dismiss or ignore people because of our distractions? When we are not treating them how we want (or demand) to be treated.
So we all fail. But, seeing your failure and sin is actually a good thing!
When we see our guilt, we see our need for a Savior! And we are then more dependent on Him for the grace we need, and the only way we can, love others as He loved us.