There is something very impersonal about using emails. I spoke with a co-worker today, who said he always liked to speak eyeball to eyeball in order to get the full meaning of a communication. I realized that sometimes we even use the computer to talk with someone one desk away. It can become very impersonal if we are not careful. However, electronic mail can also keep us in immediate communication with others whom we would seldom contact.
Communication is important.
My mother has enjoyed a renewed relationship with her grandchildren who are scattered across the state. Often she gets insights to my grown children that I may miss just by her having an email conversation. Young adults are very comfortable with using a “reply” button when they would never consider writing a letter that requires a postage stamp. Times change, but communication is still important. Things written seem to carry a weight that a verbal conversation will never have.
Paul is the author of some of the most important writings in the New Testament, but he is not always the one who did the physical writing of the letters. Many think that is because he had a sight problem [perhaps his thorn in the flesh] that required him to dictate to a scribe; however, on occasion he would take the pen himself. It was his way of showing how important the letter was to him and he hoped it would be to those who would read it. It wasn’t enough that they would hear the words, but he wanted them to also see the distinctive characteristic of his handwriting. It was a struggle for him, but it was of great importance. He knew there was something powerful about it being written down.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! Galatians 6:9-11 [NIV]
The Commitment Record of the First Place program is very important. It serves many purposes:
- Accuracy – The memory seems to fade and the realistic accounting often is lost when we trust our tracking of the week’s commitment to casual memory. This often is evident when we are certain we have been faithful, but have had terrible results. A full super-sized portion is remembered as an appropriate serving, and a walk to the car is overestimated to be a full day’s cardio workout.
- Accountability – It takes the caring peer pressure of others on the journey to keep us on track. Nothing helps more than a careful record that is reviewed for the purpose of helping us to succeed. Have you ever tried to recall a week’s worth of recording the night before the meeting? Crazy, isn’t it?
- Priority – To take time to record the process indicates that we are serious about this commitment. Keeping detailed records might not be something many of us do very often so when we do, it shows the importance. It not only shows others like our group members and family, but even more importantly, it sends a message to our deep mind…this is not business as usual!
Good intentions coupled with accurate records make a great combination for success.
Don’t hesitate to write it large!
Dr. Bill Heston
Bill Heston works on the staff of First Presbyterian Church of Houston