In-person relationships meet our longing to connect


I’m a fan of technology. In my brief life span of 56 years, I’ve seen the computer go from filling a giant room with it’s own cooling equipment to something you can hold in your hand.

(I know there are smaller devices, but I only claim to be a fan of technology, not a nerd!)

I look forward to technological advancements with anticipation and excitement, but there is a downside.

When God created everything He called it all good until man was found to be alone. God called that not good in Genesis 2:18.

Mankind has a created need in our heart for connection with other people, a need God can’t meet because He isn’t human.

Technology has created a way for us to connect, but I would suggest it does not fulfill the created need we have to be together. The more we choose tech-togetherness for the convenience and simplicity, the lonelier and more exhausted we are becoming.

I understand online connection isn’t going away and will only get easier. I only want to put a plug in for those old-fashioned face-to-face connections that are time-consuming and sometimes complicated.

The New Testament is full of instructions that flow from Jesus’ command to love one another. There are 59 “one another” commands that tell us how to do that — commands like build up one another, encourage one another, be patient with one another, forgive one another. On and on they go, instructions given to us by God on how to treat each other when we are together.

You might argue you can do those things over a Zoom meeting or Facetime call, and some of that is true, but it will leave you wanting. There is no substitute for a hand on the shoulder, a pat on the back or an eye-to-eye conversation, and your soul knows that. It’s how you were created!

Of course, there are risks for things to go wrong. People can hurt you, but the rewards of in-person relationships far outweigh the risks. That’s where personal friendships are made, where you can be accepted and loved and give that back to someone. This is how God intended it.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

As people continue to get more tech-savvy, don’t neglect your in-person connections. You will find life much more fulfilling as you make your way home.

Where do you go looking for these connections? I may be biased, but look for a church you can attend that preaches the Bible. You’ll find a community of people there waiting to connect.

Greg Ruble is lead pastor of Living Streams Community Church in McCordsville. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.