I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 2 John 12
It is easy to fire off a letter to someone in this age of electronic communication because of its expediency. In business we call this being efficient. However, there are times when nothing but a face-to-face meeting is the appropriate means of communication. We know that verbal skills are a very small portion of communication. Body language, voice tone, and our expressions make up the majority of our overall communication. This cannot be seen through a letter or electronic medium.
Paul knew that being face to face with those he ministered to was important. And for Paul, it meant some major trouble to get from one place to another. It wasn’t as simple as getting into a car or hopping onto an airplane. Paul’s desire and determination to visit and talk face to face reinforces the importance of one-on-one personal communication.
I once had to confront a businessman about some problems we were having in a business deal. He lived in another town. The negotiations had stalled to some degree. I could have attempted to solve the problem over the phone. But I realized the serious nature of the issues required a face-to-face meeting. I drove two hours to his office and met with him face to face. It meant all the difference. It demonstrated to my friend I was serious enough about solving the problem to take a day to come see him. It also showed I valued him and he was worth the effort. This resulted in him giving greater emphasis to the issue.
Next time a situation arises that requires more focused communication, consider whether the situation requires a personal visit. You may find this will be the key to resolving issues that otherwise might end in a stalemate.