November 6, 2017
Digital technology, the cell phone, and social media has introduced a whole new dynamic into the etiquette of communication, and according to Tim Elmore of the Huffington Post, the most annoying behaviors are 1.) Having a loud public conversation on a cell phone; 2.) Not silencing a cell phone in public places (i.e. restaurants, church, etc.) and 3. Checking your device during a conversation or a meeting. There are also other rules of etiquette this emerging generation of young people are developing that should be followed. For instance, responding to a text while talking to someone is disrespectful. Emails should be only for messages containing information, and should not be used to express emotion (i.e. anger, slander, disrespect). Other developing rules include, not checking your phone during a conversation and not spending time on social media while at work.
Another phenomenon of this digital age is the way people meet. In today’s world, people meeting other people online to develop a relationship, is not only acceptable, it is a common practice across all age groups. There are any number of friendship, dating sites and matchmaking services available, and they have been quite successful. Friendships which used to depend on spending face time with someone else now flourish online and seem to do quite well. However, the common element in all of this use of technology to interact with others still requires a person to initiate a conversation and another person to reply.
Many of us grew up with pictures of Jesus which depicted Him in various Biblical situations as an artist might imagine. One of the pictures, which I remember clearly, is the picture of Jesus standing outside a door and knocking. It is a picture of the verse in Rev. 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses a similar illustration about knocking on a door, to teach his disciples about responding to the Father. Matthew 7:7-8. “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
In the world we live in, technology allows people to bypass the door and go directly to a person via their digital device. But just like opening a door, people must open up themselves and respond to a digital message. So the biblical example of Jesus attempting to be a part of our lives as believers in this digital age in which we live, still illustrates the fact that Jesus is trying to have a relationship with His people. When John wrote the words of Jesus, “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” the words were specifically written to a church. In this case it was the church at Laodicea, a church which was lukewarm and busy with other interests, not unlike the body of believers in our society today. The truth of the scriptural picture of Jesus knocking on the door is that of a patient Savior standing on the outside waiting for people, who have not turned over control of their heart and life completely to Him, to respond to His call.
Believers still have a choice when it comes to responding to Jesus. We can ignore Him, get back to Him when it is convenient, or we can answer the call. The body of Christ in the world today is at best, lukewarm, and certainly is busy with many things which distract from the commission and purpose which it has been called to do, including digital messaging. What about us? Are we weary in our responsibilities as parents and as teachers? Are we easily distracted by the busy schedules and responsibilities in our daily lives? Jesus patiently waits for us to realize our spiritual condition and answer His knock on our door. The illustration of Christ knocking at the door still fits, and the only question is, what will our response be? May each of us purpose to not only answer His call, but allow Jesus to have control over every aspect of our home, our work, our personal life, and yes, our digital footprint.