I love cereal. It's a secret from my kids so don't tell, but sometimes my husband gets me some yummy sugar cereal and I have a wonderful little bowl after they go to bed. If there is sugar cereal in the house, it will get in my belly. Do you have anything like that? Jokingly we can say it's the yummy chocolately danishes fault or the donuts that someone left at our house that made me gain 5 pounds. But we know that really isn't true right. It's our own lack of discipline to say no to the cereal or the danish or donuts.
But you know what's crazy, I see on facebook all the time this same thing, blaming a neutral object for something we need to take the responsibility for. Friend so and so writes their opinion about politics or Jesus and that is quickly, "shoving it in my face". Or friend so and so writes a status about how they made cupcakes and it becomes, "they are bragging". Or a sweet picture of something beautiful around the house becomes, "they are not being real" or "only showing the good".
When we assume someone is bragging because they said they made cupcakes, lets call that what it is, judgment. (A little side note, God actually does call believers to judge other believers actions, but not their heart, since nobody knows the heart intentions except God.)
When we assume why someone is doing something, we are judging them. That is our problem, not theirs. Ouch right. Facebook exposes our hearts perhaps more clearly than anything else in our time. It is like a mirror, showing us what is in our heart.
Facebook not only allows us to see what's in our heart, it also shows us what we idolize. Unfollowing people who don't agree with us, getting mad at how people say things because it's not how we would say it, assuming why someone said something they did was out of spite and aimed at you and having bad feelings toward someone because of what they posted. It's like we try to build this little personal utopia only allowing ourselves to hear from people who think and act just like us. But how can we really grow if there is no friction? Iron sharpens iron.
We don't need to cut off the thing exposing our sin but rather turn to the Lord with the sin.
We need the Lord to change our heart and help us see Facebook as a place to serve people, not try to make it something that is all about us meeting our needs and never ruffling our feathers.
I'm not saying there is not a time for quitting Facebook, but I am saying that instead of trying to cut off the chicken pox, go to the Lord asking Him to heal the disease. By quitting Facebook (for reasons like the above), the heart issue of judgment or idolizing lack of conflict will still be there.
So rather than quit Facebook, why not confess and surrender whatever you need to to the Lord and use it as a place to serve, rather than be served. Here's some ideas.
4 Ideas of How to Use Facebook to Serve Others.
1. Pray for them. Send some friends personal messages of you praying for them (maybe even specific verses). And not praying in a mean, get em God type of way, haha. But something that would really encourage them.
2. Honor them. Brag about something they did on their wall so all their friends can see.
3. Speak truth in love. Challenge yourself to speak truth in a gracious way to others in comments but also in your status updates. The US is in a heap of trouble because Christians didn't speak up for so long. Let's not hide truth under a basket. Let's not keep the most precious things in the world from the people who need it most. It might offend people... but seriously, who cares!!! If we are trying to please men, we can not please God. (Gal. 1:10)
4. Deal with your own heart. If you're offended at what someone posted, if you're judging someone's motives, if you're jealous of what your friend posted, take it to the Lord and don't blame anyone else. When we blameshift, we will not grow in our relationship with the Lord. Yet, when we admit and confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive and will begin to change our hearts.
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Laura's desire is to point to Jesus and lead people to be in awe of God. She is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Her and her husband have been in full time ministry since 2002. She serves with Master Plan Ministries as the Director of Women's Ministries and has extensive experience leading Bible studies, discipling women and speaking to groups and is the Founder of the internationally popular blog MissionalWomen.com that helps women live on mission for the glory of God. She has written seven books/Bible studies, designed 2 popular ministry tools and has made journals for quiet times for many books of the Bible. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, and Instagram.
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5/19/2016 01:42:28 pm
I love this!!! So much THIS: "Facebook exposes our hearts perhaps more clearly than anything else in our time." For me that's true. I want it to always be to and for God's glory!" Blessed to be your neighbor at Tell His Story this week.
5/24/2016 01:07:24 pm
Thanks Tara. :)
Hi Laura, facebook has been a tool I love using. When I first started I promised the Lord it would be a place where I promoted Him, encouraged others and if I could share a laugh, that too. I think because I don't "friend" everybody and its not about numbers for me, more about like-mindedness, I don't have those "their lives look perfect" moments. I think too, because if anyone had to look at my fb real hard, it would seem a happy space, which is not always where I am at. But I want to promote good, not bad, encourage, rather than berate or judge. It is a tool to be used for His glory, and if used as such, it is a great tool, but like any tool, it can be abused.
5/24/2016 01:07:52 pm
Such a beautiful heart Tracy!
5/20/2016 03:50:45 am
I adore you Laura...and this is so true. I do believe we need to know when we need to back off of SM or any other activity that causes us to displace our priorities...or crowd the mind of Christ out of our perception. I think you are right and so on with assessing attitudes here...I think people are who they are all the time...and whether on FB or not it leaks out...I appreciate your love for God's precepts and understanding of His sovereignty over all communication.
5/24/2016 01:10:42 pm
Dawn, you are always so encouraging. Thank you!!
5/20/2016 12:03:45 pm
5/24/2016 01:13:12 pm
5/20/2016 12:03:59 pm
Amen, Laura! Thank you for pointing us to ways to stay loving on Facebook. When I feel my attitudes heading south as I scroll down the feed I know I need to take a break with a little self-adjustment. Thank you for sharing this with kindness and grace! Blessings to you!
5/24/2016 01:14:15 pm
We sure are desperate for the Lord. And grateful He can give us His supernatural love, peace and joy. :)
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