HIS LETTERS ARE WEIGHTIER THAN HE IS IN PERSON
8 For even if I boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame, 9 for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.
The scriptures bear witness to the power and witness of the Holy Spirit that is seen in the writings of Paul and the other apostles. The Holy-Spirit-inspired writings show forth and demonstrate not only the presence and power of God in what is written, but also can seem to enlarge the person. This is not to say that the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit upon a person cannot be seen as readily in the physical as it would in what is written. But it seems to me, especially with the advent of the internet, that some may well hide behind their computer screens, rather than being seen in public.
The web has been able to link thousands upon millions of people together, in one form or another, and certainly, some has been for evil purposes, while others, for the good. Many have become more isolated, withdrawing into their own space, becoming an island unto themselves. We as a people, who used to join in and meet others now, communicate more and more through the waves of the silent network.
And yet those who walked and talked with the Lord Jesus came to know Him in person. They broke bread with Him, laughed with Him, and spent many hours listening to His wisdom in their daily lives. But now the comforter has taken up abode within us. He speaks to us of what is to come, and reminds us of what He has said. Many write and speak of what God has to say to them in this hour, and we see their words and messages on our computer screens, but do we know them? We can see their spirits in what they have written even though we don’t touch them or see their smiles or their tears.
There are many of you that I know, even though I haven’t seen you in person. I have come to know you through the things you write, through the integrity that I sense, and through the spirit of the person that I have come to know.
We will see each other one day, and on that day, this life that we now lead, will have evaporated and remembered no more. There will be an end to prophecies and knowledge, and yet three things will endure: love, faith, and hope.
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 1 John 1-5
Stephen A. Hanson