Free & Fit Challenge 2018 - Our Communication - by Tim Chew

Free & Fit Challenge 2018 - Our Communication - by Tim Chew 

Podcast Version now available. Opening prayer and three passages of scripture before “Our Communication” Message. 

Opening Prayer 

Father I thank you that we can meet together digitally but I pray tonight that this message would touch our hearts and our human interactions so that we are encouraged and inspired to meet together face to face. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish? ” When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it around. All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, “A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. But may you have mercy on me, Lord; raise me up, that I may repay them. I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:4-13 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21 Free & Fit Challenge - Our Communication In a world of digital media and a huge reduction in face to face human interaction social media dulls, reduces and dehumanizes our society. The level of controversy, conflict and confusion continues to surround multimedia and internet based global corporations in relation to both political and international agendas. As a mass population of people this influences our responses, judgements, real life outlook and expectations of each other. 

Currently I teach grades 1 through 12 in New York City and find that a lot of the Youth I interact with are subdued, distracted or inconsolable because the digital world they see is not the reality they live in. The recent movie release of Ready Player One portrays a modern interpretation of the future and how people will be able to interact with each other in an alternate universe similar to the Matrix. However, even in this movie the founder of the game states that the Oasis alternative reality is not as good the real world. Its the only place where you can eat, physically meet and sleep. So whether you are using instant chat, on a video call or just in the local movie theatre the reality is you are in an alternative reality. 

Film, music, media or the arts are amazing gifts, but if not used in moderation can deprive us of human interaction. Findings from a study at Eton University suggest that technology has a negative effect on both the quality and quantity of face-to-face communication. Despite individuals’ awareness of the decrease of face-to-face communication as a result of technology, more than 62% of individuals observed on Elon’s campus continue to use mobile devices in the presence of others. Our identity as human beings, our inner souls, our desires and interactions with each other are changing dramatically. Our ability to offer people our undivided attention is reduced, our attention span is declining, our human emotions are nulled and we becoming more and more addicted to digital media. Our face to face communication is becoming a thing of the past and baby boomers are becoming more and more frequently frustrated with millennial behaviors and thought patterns which are alien to them. My mentors and wise friends have a far greater influence on me when I am fully engaged in a conversation with them, not distracted and off of my phone. Yet it remains constantly a struggle for us today to switch off our phones. Even when walking, traveling or at work. It is sometimes perceived today to be more socially awkward to not answer the phone or reply to an instant message, but in a more traditional face to face age of communication it would be perceived the other way. How times have changed! Going to meet somebody at the library, have a coffee, play outside sports or go out to dinner are far less popular activities today than a phone call, text message, watch tv, email or social media.

This is displayed in a study by the Department if Labor in the United States which outlines that 2 hours snd 47 minutes are used for watching television and only 41 minutes is used to socialise and physically interact with others. Greater engagement in outdo