This came to mind when I was thinking of the coming holidays. The good old-fashioned personal touch is gradually disappearing from our acts of kindness. People are slowly and unknowingly being depersonalized by the world’s introduction of texts, e-cards, and those apathetic gift cards. We don’t even have to know a person to send what we’ve come to believe is an appropriate greeting or give an acceptable gift. We are gradually being maneuvered toward a one size fits all, digital society. A quick example could be, to think about the neighbors you currently know in your area; then count the ones you know deeper than just their names. Those you factually know their likes and dislikes, needs, wants, desires, and dreams through doing life together. I am sure many of you will find yourselves in the boat with me. I have neighbors that get the one size fits all attention from me, which is shameful. God sent Jesus to place us all on equal ground for establishing relationships and the world has been trying for centuries to override His divine design which is evidently seeing lax with each new generation as the world inches a little closer to a detached society. God had Peter warn us of this in 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT), Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Our world is headed for total depersonalization as we’re blindly watching and at times even helping the personal touch slide into the history books. Check out (open your eyes too) our future generation who has learned to text faster than they can speak and will often text each other from the same room. Gift cards have become all the rage in today’s super busy world as they offer personal convenience, but to the receiver, they may convey the sentiment of, I don’t know what you like or need, and I don’t want to take time to learn more about you. This gesture magnifies the statement by Van Dyke coined in the aphorism: “It is not the gift, but the thought that counts.” Granting legitimacy to our impersonal gift-giving while easing our guilt (if there is any) as our lack of effort and concern has hopefully appeased the blatantly obvious. Now there will be some extenuating circumstances such as age, health issues, and logistics. But for the most part, “it is I” (we) who are falling short in keeping up with the Joneses (so to speak). We simply do not get it! God brings us into people’s lives to add value to them through His love and grace. He created the system of giving and receiving and didn’t use material things and earthly stuff to do it. I stand firm in the belief that God has instilled in each one of us certain things that are stored until He sends the specific person to collect them. As they are meant to help them in their journey and so the same is true for us. Remember Romans 12:11 & 16 (NLT), Never be lazy but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. As well as verse 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
I feel God explained the benefits of relationships wonderfully in Matthew 18:19-20 (NLT), 19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” If we seek to have compassionate relationships, we will! As long as Jesus is in the mix all things are possible, even with those who choose to follow the thinking of (Robert Frost) who said, “good fences make good neighbors.” In rebuttal, I believe John is speaking of greater than death in John 15:13 (AMPC), No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. In my day we had the saying, Dying’s easy, living is hard! It is hard to live the life of others first while in the selfish flesh but as is written in Luke 1:37 (NLT), For the word of God will never fail. So, let us bring back the personal touch of Jesus to our daily lives and revel in the changes.
Lord, as we just observed Thanksgiving and look to celebrating Christmas have us go deep within ourselves and recognize what we believe to be your gospel plan for us. Enlighten us with your wisdom of the most favorable things we can do to please you. Grant us the courage to undertake and desire to learn how to live Mark 12:31 (NLT) The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” May you open the eyes to our hearts lord that we might see the love and compassion you have for every one of your creations, including us. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!