Text messaging has become the staple of communication for many these days. It has become a quick and easy way to communicate with those around us…and a quick and easy way to grow a personal relationship with others. The world is all about speed these days, wanting to keep in touch with each other at all times, it has almost become an addiction for many in trying to keep up with each other.
Facebook, Twitter, Text Messaging, Snapchat and the list continues – each a way for people to keep up with others in the busyness of life, and keep tabs on what each other are doing. We use our status messages on Facebook and Twitter to pass along prayer requests, inform others of what we’re doing or pass along little inspirational quotes or news quickly. We use text messaging to quickly make plans when we can’t make a phone call, because – unless our ringer is turned up to top volume – we can do it without interrupting those around us…Instant communication has become the norm in our society.
Text Messaging can also be a way for many to say things to others that we aren’t able to say to them face-to-face, or a way to say something if you don’t want to see their reaction, because it is something that is hard to say. It is also a way to avoid the seriousness of a conversation that we may not quite want to have with someone else…which could be for any reason, but in many cases because we don’t want to see their reaction (although in some cases that is why people say things to others).
Lets look at three things that we learn from Text Messaging about life…
1 – Communication
2 – Immediacy
3 – Impersonal aspect
First, Text messaging is used for communication: Text has become a constant communication factor in many of our lives. Whether trying to learn something about someone or a situation, we can also use it to get to know someone – to find out the details about them and learn more about them. The fact about text messaging is that it has become a way for many people to continually keep in conversation over a day via short messages. Many people use it to keep up with their kids, with family members, or to keep a conversation up with each other…whatever the case, text is used for communication.
Second is the Immediacy of Text Messaging: We can usually rely on text messaging to be a quick way of delivering a message to others. If we have to cancel plans, the first thing many of us do is pull out our phone and send a text. If we can’t talk on the phone because of work, or because of the type of event we are at…we just pull our cell phone out and send a quick text message to talk to someone. With text messaging we have become a society who is in constant contact with each other.
Third, Text Messaging can be impersonal: While the other two aren’t necessarily bad, this one can be depending on how it is used. Text can be a good way for everyone to keep in contact, and it can be a way to get to know someone personally. It is also a way to have an impromptu meeting with someone when you can’t meet face-to-face…But this can also be used in a bad way. The fact that you don’t have to see someone face-to-face can be used to say things that we’ve always wanted to say to others, without seeing them in person.
There are many who will use that to their advantage by taking the opportunity to break off a relationship, to say something harsh, even bless someone out…simply because you don’t have to see their reaction. You can say something to another person…and leave it there…for them to deal with, because you have finished (or have you).
I want to take these three principles and apply them to the longest and greatest text message that was ever sent…that message, The Bible. The Apostles were unable to meet with everyone face-to-face…so they wrote letters. The Prophets were unable to tell their story to everyone…so they wrote it down. But most importantly, The Bible has become God’s personal text message to each of his children…
God uses His word to converse with us on a daily basis. The answers to all of life’s questions can be found within the cover of the Holy Bible. God uses the words of His Apostles to share with His children the story of His Son. The Bible is our text message from God, if we have a question, we can ask, and He speaks to us through text, The Text.
We weren’t able to see the Apostles or Prophets, or even Jesus face-to-face, but because of the Scripture we can see the message and get the answer we are looking for to all of life’s situations…There is not single thing we may face in this life that hasn’t already been faced in life…the fact is that almost every situation we could ever face is covered by scripture.
If you have a Bible, it’s always there when you need it. As Christians we should always carry it with us. Peter addresses this in his first epistle…
”But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
— 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
Peter is saying to “always be prepared to give an answer” to those who ask us about our hope…If we don’t have the complete answer to our hope, the scripture does. Not only should it always be with us, it’s always right on target with the answers to our questions…and most of the answers are quick and easy finds if you use online helps or reference books. Most of the Bibles that we can get today have a dictionary and concordance in the back for reference…which in most cases can serve as a topical reference.
Scripture is only impersonal in the fact that the writers of the Bible do not have to be in the same room as us, because they have written it down. We do not have to see them face-to-face to get their advice on something. But Scripture is personal because it is given to us by God, our Father, to give us the answers to life’s everyday problems. A good way of looking at the Bible is this – B.I.B.L.E. – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. The Bible is our Owner’s Manual…our text message from God…our constant communication with our Father.
Paul reminds Timothy of something that is still true for each of us today…
“16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
— 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
God sent us a text message many years ago…while we’re thinking about it, He also sent a picture message in the image of His Son…and he asks us to be a Snapchat/Instagram story for him everyday in all that we do. We are created in His image (Genesis 1:26)…created to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29)…we are His picture message to the world…what does your message say?