1 Samuel 20
We all need at least one Jonathan in our lives. Someone who is going to give us the honest truth. To warn us of danger — not just danger from an angry madman, but danger from our own choices. Jonathan risked his own life, and certainly the favor of his father, for the sake of defending and warning David.
Am I willing to be Jonathan for someone God has placed in my life? Am I willing to risk everything for the benefit of a friend? Have I sought out someone who will be this honest and this caring for me? Am I willing to be open and vulnerable enough with them for them to be able to help me?
An article was published this week from one of the founders of Facebook where he stated, “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works: no civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem. This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem.” Most of us have seen our children’s ability to talk on the phone, have a conversation in person, read, or simply entertain themselves without a screen in front of them dwindle. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit our own ability to maintain attention when conversing with someone else has eroded. We’ve seen the gulf between opinions grow, regardless of whether it is over the color of your Christmas lights, or a life-and-death political opinion. We’re losing our ability to collaborate, to compromise, to imagine ourselves in someone else’s shoes and empathize with their feelings.
This social media rant may seem unrelated to my original point, but it is integral. You can’t BE Jonathan for someone else if you are interacting via a screen in 280 characters or less. You can’t open up and be vulnerable enough to allow someone else to speak into your life, if all they ever see are your happy, post-worthy moments.
This Christmas, let’s unplug from our devices and plug in to those around us. Let’s close the app and open our hearts and our minds to the people we love. Let’s seek to build relationships that are deeper than a tweet or a GIF.