Seeing the faces of both young and old buried en masse in their smartphone screens has become one of the enduring images of our time. Yes, it’s frustrating, but when you think about it, it speaks deeply about what’s happening in our society and indeed in our own lives.

The sense of community that existed when I was a boy – that collectivism, if you will – has been replaced by individualism. Before cars were as ubiquitous as they are today, people caught the bus or the train. Now, the arteries of every major city in the world are clogged with cars, each for the most part carrying just a single person.

And yes, mobile technology has made us both more connected and more isolated. The worst of it is that we’re resigned to it. That’s just the way things are nowadays. But they don’t have to be.

Proverbs 27:10 Don’t forget your own friends or your father’s friends. If you have a problem, go to your neighbour for help. It is better to ask a neighbour who is near than a brother who is far away.

I love that because it comes as a poignant reminder – indeed, as a command from God – to build community by relying on one another, even out to your father’s friends. In other words, our vision of community should extend far wider than the narrowness of our smartphone screens or even our narrow circle.

Lift up your eyes, and look around. What opportunities is God giving you to build connections? Who right now needs your help? Which neighbour – the one to your left or to your right – would be blessed if you reached out with a kind word or a helping hand?

How might God’s love flow out through you into the heart of someone who desperately needs Him right now, today?

Don’t forget your friends or your father’s friends.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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