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.
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.