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June 12, 2014

Prayerfully consider what you share with the world on Facebook

It’s that time of year again for Vacation Bible School! Our church, recently, held its annual VBS and I was honored to be asked to lead a class. I’m used to teaching my college Sunday school class, so a class of 5th and 6th graders was a bit of a shock to my teaching style.  I really did enjoy sharing Jesus with them, although it seemed as if they were distracted at times. I encouraged them to get to know Jesus, to listen for His voice every day and to be an example to their friends and family. I pray they will do that, as I know each one of you do the same. They live in a unique time where they can communicate instantly with friends on cell phones and social media. This is something I think we should all take advantage of, but within reason.

With this unique time of instant communication comes a price. Our lives can be laid out for the world to see. Every aspect from our family, our jobs, our likes and dislikes, and where we are at any given time can be shared with the entire world with one click. People can get to know you simply by browsing Facebook and reading your comments. I can only imagine how someone like Paul would react to Facebook. Would he have a Twitter account, an Instagram, or even a webpage? I certainly am not going to try to speak for Paul, but I certainly would think he would warn us about what we put on these sites at the very least.

If we claim to be a Christian, every aspect of our lives should reflect that. Not just our public life, but also our private life, too. I wonder, sometimes, as I browse my Facebook page and read some of the posts what goes on in private if they are willing to put this out for everyone to read? As I said earlier, Paul was concerned for those he encountered, too.  Philippians 3:18-19 says: “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” Perhaps, you know some people that claim to follow Christ, but their lives are far from the example He set for us. Perhaps, you aren’t a Christian, and your view of Christians has been formed by your encounters with people like this. For that, I am sorry, and I pray that you will soften your hearts to Christ and acknowledge that we are sinful, broken people, and Christ is a sinless, perfect Savior.

I warn people that are considering joining Facebook that it can change your opinion of those you thought you knew. You will see and read things you never thought would come from that person. Yet our God knows everything about us, and He still loves us. Psalm 139:1-6 says, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” That thought is both reassuring and terrifying for the believer and non-believer alike. Even David says that the knowledge that God has about us is too much for him to comprehend. He never leaves us, even though we wished he would just turn His head a few times. I, for one, never want Him to look away, even though I may sin. I need to know God is always looking over me and listening to me. I need to know that His love is greater than my meaningless thoughts and my thoughtless reactions to this world.

How can I know that He isn’t mad at me? one name, Jesus Christ!  God is eternal, He is past and present, and He knows the future and remembers the past. Yet, He loves me and He sent His Son to die for me. He gave us something that we can never repay Him for. He sent Himself, wrapped in flesh and bones, with a message from the Father. A message that was being proclaimed by John the Baptist, repent. That is a word that is rarely heard these days, now replaced by saying “I’m sorry” and “I promise not to do that again,” which my dear friends is not the same. “Repent” means to go the opposite direction and to tell others of the dangers of heading that way — something we can accomplish with social media, but only if we choose to. I pray that if you are on social media, you would prayerfully consider what you share with the world. Your life is precious to God and He created you to be a unique mouthpiece for Him. Speak up for Him in your life, both online and offline.

 

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