Intentionality

I think intentionality is one of those topics which is so easy to talk about, but when it comes to really living intentionally… that’s a different story. I really struggle with this, but I have been realizing recently that it is totally worth it. 

An easy way to think of intentionality is that if you’re doing something, keep the ultimate goal in mind. For example, if you are doing your reading for class, keep in mind the ultimate goal of passing the final and learning all that you can from the course. If you remember that the reading you are doing might help you learn the material better, you are going to be much more intentional about how you are reading. In other words, you will pay more attention and be more present to what you’re doing. 

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That seems easy enough, but it gets a little more difficult when it comes to communication. Ultimately, communication is an exchange of some kind of message between one or more people. However, a lot of times when we use cell phones or the internet – which are intended to help us communicate more efficiently – we are less present to both the person we are communicating with through the social media AND the people we are actually with at that moment in person. If we were intentional about how we communicate, we would put the cell phone down while we are talking to people in person, and we would remember that there really is another person on the other side of the phone or screen. It’s challenging, but when you’re out to lunch with a friend be present to them. When you’re texting someone, remember that they are a person and talk to them as such. 

But why is it worth it?

Because a real difference can be made!

When it comes to sharing our faith, communication in its truest form – as an exchange of a message between persons – is key. Our faith is a beautiful thing, but this beauty is only seen when it is lived in a real and personal way. Someone must be able to see how the faith impacts you personally before they will even consider allowing it to impact them. And so this beauty must be communicated. But in order to communicate our faith and make a difference, we have to be intentional about how we go about it. Media can be an awesome way to spread this beauty, but it must be personal. If the person is lost in the social media “communication” through lack of intentionality then we have lost the very purpose of communication.

Communication is between persons and our faith is for the person

 

14 thoughts on “Intentionality

  1. Mm, yes, very good points. I feel like our culture now really struggles with being intentional with anything. That idea of talking with one person at a time is a great example of how we need to improve on being intentional & present. Another important aspect of intentionality is in your prayer life. My goal in prayer should not just be for my struggle to be made more manageable (for example) but that I would come into a deeper union with Christ and better myself.

  2. I loved this! It can be so easy to forget about intentionality when it comes to every day occurences. Society doesn’t even think twice about picking up a cell phone and texting another person while in conversation with a friend standing right next them. What a wonderful point to make. Thank you!

  3. So very true, it’s so easy to let the technology sweep us away from the present instead of mastering it and using it to enhance the present. It’s a tool, and too often people use it as an escape from reality, from genuine communication. Well said!

  4. Such a beautiful reminder to me! Thank you! Your comments remind me of something our women’s group (many of us are teachers) often discusses: “While what we propose to children and youth is important, in the end, we teach what we are.” So to live, to act, and to speak very intentionally–and as you say, others “must be able to see how the faith impacts us”–is so very important.

  5. I love the line “beauty is only seen when it is lived in a real and personal way,” because it’s so TRUE! If we leave beauty to this theoretical concept, it loses its potency to change hearts, to make people act different, to change thew world.

    There’s a quote I saw recently that says, “Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received.” We need to be loved and nurtured by God to grow in relationship with him; it’s the same thing with others! If we don’t communicate our beauty intentionally, then it’s very easy for our communication to be fruitless.

  6. Question:
    You said we should be more intentional when we text, etc but not text, etc when there are people present to us physically. But living in community and surrounded people all the times- sometime the technological communication you need to make is more pressing that the physical immediately in front of you. If we talk too much about ^ then it may lead to judgment of others or guilt when they/we pull out the phone to text someone. Practically, if someone else happens to be physically present but you are need to intentionally communicate with someone through technology- how do you do it with out seeming rude?
    Sometimes it almost seems like modern technology makes it possible or (because modern life is soooo busy) even necessary to be in multiple places at once. How do you balance intentionality with the practical realities of modern life?

  7. This is great! I definitely think intentionality can be tricky because it’s so quick and convenient to go on FB rather than meet someone in person. But, like you said, so worth it!

  8. Good choice of words “intentionality.” I’ve always referred to it as a kind of passion. When you are passionate, you are intent. If you are passionate about communication, about reaching people, listening, interacting then it shows in any form of communication or medium that you use. Very very nicely written.

  9. It is so true that when using cell phones and the internet, we become less present to those around us. Keeping intention in mind is so important, especially in those instances.

  10. I completely agree. Here’s some input from a psychology major too: when we communicate in person, we also get to pick up on body language.. and it makes all the difference!! And what a great reflection of the Incarnation too!

  11. This blog brings up such an interesting point. The idea that we need to make sure that our communication is personal is so important. It appears that people get very wrapped up on the ideas that the Church needs media to evangelize, and while that is true is is important to remember that media is not the end of our evangelization, but the beginning of what we need to do to create personal interaction.

    I love the last line “Communication is between persons and our faith is for the person.” This is such a reminder that we need to focus on the person and not just focus on the means we get to the person.

    Great blog with a Great reminder!

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