By Jamie Tisler
How today’s culture communicates has rapidly expanded because of technology. These staggering statistics from Google confirm this: 100 billion emails per day, 23 billion texts per day, 500 million tweets per day, 6 billion cell phone calls per day. Though there are many communication modes available, choosing the right one is essential to effective communication.
The Apostle John had few methods of communication to choose from. He wrote to Gaius with whom he had a father-son relationship (3 John). Their relationship was birthed when John shared the gospel, and Gaius responded with repentance of his sin and belief in Jesus Christ.
John wrote his letter to acknowledge Gaius’ hospitality towards fellow workers of the faith, and to encourage him as he dealt with Diotrephes, a troublemaker in the church. John concluded, “I have many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write to them with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face” (3 John 1:13-14). The meaning in the Greek for face to face is “mouth to mouth” emphasizing the very personal nature of this communication.
As I thought about the best mode of communication, a few things came to mind: accessibility; time; subject; word count; and sometimes, the preferred mode of the recipient. Reading again these verses in John’s letter, I realized he was not short on pen and ink. The Holy Spirit guided him to communicate what else he needed to say to Gaius face to face. I imagine Gaius appreciated John’s letter and even more, looked forward to seeing his spiritual father. I need to give more thought when selecting a mode of communication and seek the Lord’s guidance when the subject is weighty.
Face to face communication is not obsolete. A recent face to face conversation confirmed this. There was a connection between the two of us that no other mode could have offered. Seeing the expression on each other’s face added value to the communication and the flowing dialogue was unlike the other modes of communication, which often involve waiting for a response. The words John wrote to Gaius over 2,000 years ago are still relevant for me today.
Lord, thank you for the many modes of communication I have to choose from. Help me to know how to choose the right one so that I will communicate effectively for your glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.