Face to Face

Do you ever wonder if your writing is making a difference?

I found a nice reminder today in the Epistles of John—relationships trump message. In an age of ebooks, blogs, the creation of tribes and followers it’s easy to think our message means everything—especially, if that message promotes us rather than something greater than us. Don’t get me wrong—the message is still important. Just don’t forget the face-to-face.

I love to write, and will continue to to so, but my writing has it’s limitations. And I sometimes wonder if my writing—or the intent of my writing—is getting through.

John must have realized this too as evidenced by 2 John 1:12.

12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

He goes on to repeat this idea in 3 John 1: 13,14.

13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

So did this mean that John stopped writing or became disillusioned with his writing. I don’t think so. Perhaps, his attitude of putting relationships first, made him a stronger writer. Maybe his people-oriented approach encouraged others to read his writing more.

Joy seems to be the end goal for John. Not just for him, but also for his audience.

How well do you understand the people you write for? Does your writing produce joy in your readers? I’ve often heard the advice to write for the one—the one person you know the best. Or the person who relates the most to you.

Who is that person for you? Maybe it’s time to put down the pen or fold up the key board and do a face-to-face.

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6 Responses to Face to Face

  1. Scott, once again you have caused me to pause and to give thought to my ways. Thank you for that.

  2. susangbarber says:

    At least for me, the person that my writing most benefits is myself. The discipline and taking time to collect and organize my thoughts benefits me far greater than any of my readers. Press on, fellow writers!!

    • Thanks, Susan! I believe I fall right in there with you. Writing can be for the writer also. Just the joy of it and clarifying one’s thoughts/beliefs. I’m sure the Apostles experienced this as well with the help of God’s Spirit. I’ve also heard the advice to write for your past self, because you can share some valuable lessons learned with those you’re writing for in the present. Thanks again for the comment!

  3. Chris Peek says:

    Great post, Scott. I believe writing is a great bridge to relationship. It lets the reader get to know the heart of the writer.

    However, we can’t remain behind a computer screen 24/7. If we did so, we wouldn’t have anything worth writing about. Hopefully, writing does lead to growth in face-to-face relationships. Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of my blogging friends in-person. While technology is great for making new friends, there is no better connection than face-to-face.

    • You make a great point, Chris. Our writing can help us open doors to new relationships and it can enrich the relationships we already have. And surely these growing, thriving relationships enable better writing.

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