Social net working is the “in” thing today. With just a click of our mouse, we can collect friends which we encourage or delete. On the internet, we can simulate relationships. Why is living in “virtual reality” so appealing today?
“Virtual reality” offers the illusion of connection. On Face-book, I feel as if I am not alone. I can have relationships without responsibilities. If I write something on Facebook, and you are hurt, I don’t know. Even if you tell me, I can just wipe away our friendship. If I lie, you will never know. I can brag about hundreds of friends today. I can go away for months and no one cares.
Sometimes, we treat God as if we were Face-book friends. We pray, usually on the run, not always truthfully, expecting nothing. We arrive at church, ready to judge and criticize. The pastor’s message is obviously for someone else. Don’t ask me to do anything, I’m too busy. Let’s not hug or shake hands. After all it’s flu season.
The bottom line is that “virtual reality,” doesn’t cut it. Internet friendships don’t cut it either. It takes more than the click of a mouse, or a few words banged out on a keyboard to make a relationship. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible talks about living in loving real relationships, with God, others and ourselves, true relationships that require time, teaching, sharing, healing, truth. Life is not all joy, caring, accomplishment because human relationships are messy and often difficult.
St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians says that without the love relationship, words are no more than “a noisy gong”, faith means nothing, actions gain nothing. There is no simulation here, no control. St. Paul describes God’s relationship with you, and God’s vision of your relationship with God, others and self, as relationships that cannot be ended with the click of your mouse.
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.” (I Corinthians 13:4-6)
During this month of February, I encourage you to pick up a Bible and read I Corinthians 13, every day. Yes, read the entire chapter. It’s short, only 15 verses. Even the slowest reader can whizz through it in less than five minutes. Let these famous words rest in your heart and become a part of your living. They will change your life.

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