“…let us consider how to provoke each other to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together,…”
We were created to interact with each other face to face. A necessary part of an addict’s recovery is the weekly meeting and regular contact with a sponsor. Weight Watchers success can be attributed, in large part, to the weekly meetings that offer encouragement
and accountability. It is in face-to-face encounters that we find the crucial ingredients to growth and blessing. It is face-to-face that our most important interactions occur.
Unfortunately our society is becoming a faceless society. It is now possible and increasingly probable that an individual will go an entire day without interacting face to face with another human being. With our cell phones, computers, e-mails, chat rooms, web logs, text messaging, and instant messaging, we can interact with the world without leaving our room.
Listen to what Ann Quindlen has to say about this in the March 20, 2006 issue of Newsweek:
The greatest challenge of this century is going to be to avoid becoming a faceless society, with all that suggests and portends. The change in the way modern human beings know one another, and the world, has happened so incrementally and yet so quickly
that it’s almost impossible to assess its ultimate psychological cost. Only four decades ago, half a lifetime, daily life was different in so many conventions of communication. A phone was anchored to the wall, an instant message was a hand-delivered greeting card and a blind date took place in a restaurant.
“Today many people are having online relationships with acquaintances or friends they’ve never really met—and who may be nothing at all like the selves they describe. The poor child who once could count on the bullying to stop once the school bell had rung now discovers it can go on endlessly through the miracle of the chat room, and worse than before, since it’s much easier to wound without the sight of wounded eyes. Looking someone straight in the eye is an age-old incentive to do the right thing, but there’s precious little of it in the computer age.”
Today, more than ever, we need to gather weekly (at least) for a life-changing, transforming, face-to-face encounter with God. God reveals Himself in many ways to us, but the primary way that He comes to us is through our brother or sister in Christ. When we come face-to-face with another believer—we come face-to-face with God.
There is no substitute for worship, small group Bible studies, and fellowship groups. They are absolutely crucial to our walk with God. You can’t be a Lone Ranger Christian. We were created to be in community.
In our face-to-face encounters with each other we are encouraged, affirmed, built up, and edified. There are also times in those encounters when we will be held accountable for faulty thinking or disobedience to our Lord. It is face-to-face that we are corrected or rebuked and inspired to change our behavior and do the right thing.
We all live busy lives with many obligations and responsibilities. Sometimes it is impossible to come to church on a Sunday morning or attend a weekly Bible study. But we must make it a priority. In this increasingly faceless society in which we live, we must be the body of Christ, called and committed to community.
Grace and Peace,