We sit in front of some type of screen for multiple hours every day. Whether it be a smartphone, navigational system, tablet, TV, or computer, our days revolve around these pieces of technology more now than ever before. Gadgets and their technology have become part of our daily lives. Maybe this technology can help us with our words and thus with our relationships.
I’m not talking about YouVersion, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube? I’m talking about Siri. Siri is the intelligent personal assistant on the iPhone that helps you get things done just by asking. It allows you to use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. I believe Siri could be a big help in interpersonal relationships, provided we seek her advice. For example, this conversation between husband and wife.
Sarah: Michael, I have been thinking about this for some time and I believe we need some counseling. I am willing to work very hard on whatever is suggested at the counseling sessions.
Michael: Makes scoffing sound. “I’ve got pretty much everything I need to patch this thing up right here at home. I do. So why pay a bunch of professionals that will rip us off and probably make you more needy than you are now. You just need to get your arms around your problems and we will be good. Of course, it is no wonder you have issues with your family. Siri, do you agree?”
Siri: Dude, are you kidding me…perhaps you should ….
Michael: I’m thinking this should be fixed in a week or so, or maybe I should scrap the whole thing and start over. Siri, make a note to see if the issues are solved on my calendar two weeks from today.
Siri: Michael, do you have a mute button? You really need to think first, talk second. Do do you realize that you could alienate or even lose the woman you love forever because of an all-or-nothing choice you just presented her with. You gave her an ultimatum, that was not very….
Michael: Sarah, for one thing, stop talking during the commercials. With all that talking, I am unable to focus fully on the storyline or hear crucial parts of the dialogue.
Siri: What…are you kidding me!
Michael: Take the Papa John’s commercial Sunday evening. As soon as the ad came on, you started yapping about something you were discussing in small group and I totally missed what Peyton Manning said to Papa John. Siri, can you record the commercial next time it is on?
Siri: At least I have artificial intelligence…you on the other hand are an idiot.
Michael: And I hate the smell of Lysol around the house. And you use too much ketchup on everything. And I just can’t listen to any more Michael Bolton songs….
OK, you get the idea. Siri can’t fix our relationships, only God can. By asking God for constant advice rather than technology, we can put Him on the throne of our lives. As common as our relationship problems are, we often misunderstand what causes them to occur. Much of the time they come from hidden conversations and action patterns within us, not from the behavior or attitudes of others. The problem is we often don’t notice the role that we play. We can be more aware and wise when we invite God to be an active participant and guide.
How do we apply God’s wisdom in our words? A major part of using God’s wisdom in our words is to not forget God’s teaching and to put His commandments in our heart (Proverbs:3:1). If our mouths are to speak from the abundance of our hearts, then our hearts must have the right thoughts from which to speak. God’s Word provides this proper foundation.
It is the right first step. Just ask Siri, I think she will agree.
1. Can we be completely objective in our relationships? If not, why not? Why can others see the problems ahead, but we cannot?
2. Do we have the ability to forgive others when their words or actions harm us? Conversely, can we admit our errors in relationships and humbly seek forgiveness from the ones we’ve hurt?
3. Do we seek to live in harmony with the people we have relationships with? Do we place the interest of others above our self-interest? Do we encourage others by pointing out their strengths, rather than criticizing their weaknesses?
4. Does your time commitments demonstrate that you value relationships over work/career/hobbies.