Don't Delete All Forwards

I don't know how much you know about how we got the Bible that we have today. Most of the New Testament is letters weren't all written at one time. These letters were sent out to specific churches dealing with specific problems that the early church found so useful that they circulated the letters between each other. I assume that a letter received wider circulation because it dealt with an issue that more churches were dealing with.

These letters are like forwards. They weren't written to us, but someone felt that they were so important that they forwarded them on to us. Okay, let's be honest. Most of the things we get forwarded to us these days aren't really important enough to be forwarded. And  if you're like me, I typically just ignore most forwards. And I think we mentally do that with a lot of the Bible. We ignore it like we do forwards. We think,"Oh, there is the Bible." And we ignore it.

As of the time of writing this, my inbox has 47,243 unread messages. I figure someday that Yahoo will actually limit my space, but they haven't yet. These are messages that I have received and never done anything with. Not deleting my messages was some crazy New Years' resolution that I made way back in 2008. Since then, like you, I have been inundated with message after message. Many of them forwards. And I ignore them. Never open them. Never delete them.  They just sit there. Untouched. Somewhere in the great nether. I just did some simple math and figured out that I have saved over 13 hours by not even wasting one second on each of these 47,000 emails.

You may not be psychotic like me with your emails and trying to save time. But I share this, not to just give you a glimpse of my psychosis, but to show you that we ignore messages. We must. We are bombarded with message after message, day after day.  

In his book Data Smog, David Shenk states, “The average American is targeted by 3000 messages per day. That includes phone calls, e-mail, meetings, conversations."

In the AMAHandbook for Managing Business to Business Marketing Communications, it notes, "The average American adult is exposed to over 600 advertising messages in a single 24-hour period."

Direct Marketing News reveals, "Each of us sees more ads alone in one year than people of 50 years ago saw in an entire lifetime."

So, in our attempt to exist in our message inundated society without going crazy, we train ourselves to ignore or just delete messages that we receive.  

But we are shaped and transformed by many messages that we are exposed to. And Paul's letters sent out to some of the early churches have been forwarded to us today. We have collected these letters in what we know as the Bible; letters that the early church felt were so important that they circulated them among themselves. Letters that we have come to recognize as inspired by God. These letters are battling for our attention in this world that is trying to distract us. It is my hope that we won't just ignore these forwards. Our lives will be better if we give Paul's letters the attention they deserve.