“No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
We started with a condensed set of letter and characters that would add on an expression of our feelings to our words. Even though the typewriter was able to give us an 🙂 we didn’t really adopt these until the age of text messaging when we were either limited by characters because of cost or space. We became familiar with LOLs. Today, even the oldest of texters know what a handful of these mean and they use them to add on or clarify their expressions. But, now we are going even further. There are apps that we can get entire catalogues of emoticon and animated GIFs. I’ve even started to see companies add these into their advertising. What we use these symbols and images to do is to expand our expression and to bring the message home even clearer. Long before the digital age we knew that a picture was worth a 1000 words. Nothing has changed while everything has changed. How we stay on top of this is important in how we relate to those who are communicating and expressing in different ways than words.
As I was thinking about this topic, I was reminded that in the Old Testament, when we expressed ourselves to God it came with requirements of actions and sacrifice with many forms of that expression. In many cases, God and His prophets were very specific with what those expressions were to be. God was asking us to go beyond our words and what was inside of our minds. We were to make outward expressions of our commitment to Him. When Jesus came for us, God said that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and He didn’t require or ask for those same type of expressions but He instead delivered God’s love and the Holy Spirit into us for us to be the expressions for Him. We are like God’s emoji stickers, each day bringing to life His love and grace to others. In a way we are translating God’s language and expression to others through our lives and examples. Each day we live it out and then others copy us and take it further. That is, as you know, a big responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. If we were to take stock of what kind of “stickers” we are being for God today, are we sure that we would want them being spread around? Let’s stop and think about it today.
Reference: 1 John 4:12 (New Living Translation)