1 Thessalonians 3:5-6 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.
Paul was paranoid. Paul was pessimistic. Paul was planning for the worst. It seems to me like Paul needed Facebook. He was totally disconnected from these people and that absence caused him to worry. His lack of information made him think that maybe something was wrong, that they had stopped living for Jesus. If only he was able to see their status updates. If only he could have seen their photo album titled, “baptisms.” It seems like being an apostle would be way more convenient these days.
This is what happens with silence. We are left to make assumptions. Sometimes we make good assumptions, but other times we make bad ones. Often, our assumptions leave us feeling like something is going terribly wrong. Maybe we had a conversation with someone that didn’t go too well. Then two weeks goes by and we don’t talk to them again. We begin to think they are mad at us. We think they have talked poorly of us all over town. We might even start to think that our whole lives are going to fall apart. Paranoia, I tell you. And it’s mostly due to silence.
Which is why we need to do a better job of finding out information before making assumptions. If you are wondering if someone is mad at you, call them. If you think that someone isn’t doing well, try to find out the truth. Letting our uninformed thoughts determine our peace is pure craziness! Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, seek the truth. Send a Timothy like Paul did. Shoot, check Facebook. You might find that all of your worry is for nothing.
*Are you worried about something that you don’t have good information about?
Acts 24:22-24 22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs. 24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.
I bet you have a lot of facebook friends, maybe hundreds. Me too. But how many “friends” do you really have? Many years ago, friendship was defined as someone who you spent time with, were close to, and knew alot about you. You shared life together. Today, it seems that friendship is defined by simply having met someone. If we’ve met then we are friends… at least on facebook. Think about it. You ask someone if they know another person. Their answer is: “yes, we are friends on facebook.” Friendship has come a long way. Or at least it seems. Or maybe those we call friends are actually more like acquaintances. After all, do we really “know” them?
Felix was facebook friends with the Way. He liked their facebook page. But he really didn’t know Jesus, he had just heard of him. He knew a little about who he was and probably met some of his followers a few times. But He wasn’t friends with Him. It says in Acts 24 that Felix was acquainted with the Way – that’s what they called the Christian movement in the early days. And he sent for Paul because he wanted to know more. Paul was called to the house of Felix many times and continued to share the truth about Jesus. We can’t be certain that Felix ever actually decided to become more than an acquaintance with Jesus, but we do know he made steps to get there.
I wonder sometimes if we treat Jesus more like an acquaintance than a friend. I wonder if we are more of a fan than a follower. When Jesus said follow me, He wasn’t talking about Twitter; He really meant, “follow me.” He wants you to more than like Him, He wants you to know Him. Like Felix, we should be taking steps to become more than acquaintances. We should be taking steps to learn and grow and love and know.
*What steps do you need to take to really “know” Him? Put one into action today.