If you’re reading this right now, then we’re both perpetuating a problem that is absolutely decimating our nation. I am just as culpable as you are, and I’m trying to figure out how to work through the dangers of what you’re doing right now simply reading this. Let me back up a moment . . .
Over the past several weeks I’ve counseled with several different people in my church for a variety of different issues they’re struggling with. The issues themselves are nothing new: marital issues, anxiety, depression, but that doesn’t lessen the very real pain these people are feeling. As I dig down deeper, there’s something all of these folks have in common, because it’s something plaguing more and more people (and this post is perpetuating that problem, but we’ll get there in a moment). These people are lonely. They have “friends” but no one deep. They don’t have a ‘person,’ someone that knows their stuff and walks through life with them. So when life gets overwhelming as it tends to do for all of us from time to time, these folks are trying to gamely suffer through on their own, and all they’re doing is suffering.
We were not created to do life alone. When we’re alone, the enemy has us right where he wants us, and he can pick us off one by one, and that’s exactly what he’s been doing for years. The first step back to health and wholeness is always the same: community. I counseled all of these people to join a small group, to band together with a group of other Christians to really begin to do life together with other people. The way to find healing, the way to find freedom is together.
And that’s where the problem of this post comes in. You’re not reading this blog in community. You’re not sitting with others and discussing this in a conversation. You’re most likely reading this alone, just as I’m typing these words onto the page alone. You’re reading this on your smartphone or computer, alone. Technology is in some ways helpful but in many ways destructive because it destroys relationships. We’re becoming aware of the dangerous side effects of kids spending too much time in front of a screen, and it doesn’t just negatively affect kids. Technology gives us faux relationships, a blurred copy of the real thing. We shop online, we entertain ourselves online, we can work online, we can even watch church online. The incredible convenience and obvious advantages that technology gives us comes with one glaring disadvantage: technology is driving us away from relationships and towards aloneness. And as years of counseling people as a pastor has burned deep within my soul, when the enemy has you alone, he has you right where he wants you.
So, by all means, read this post. Share it even. You as the audience are the reason I write, and I’m thankful and amazed that a pastor in Mississippi can touch people all over the world through technology. But please don’t neglect real, tactile, biblical relationships. Do life with other Christians. Find a person. Get in relationships. Don’t be alone, and don’t allow technology allow to sell you a false bill of goods that technology is all you need. Technology will never substitute what God actually created us for: community.