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 I gained 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 he Danish or donuts. But you know what's crazy, I see on facebook all the time this same thing of blaming an 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 my face". Or friend so and so writes a status about how they made cupcakes and that becomes, "they are bragging".
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. It 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... 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.
So really it comes down to how it's really just not about us. 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 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.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 14 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, A Devotional Journey through Judges, and Discover God's Calling for Your Life. Most recently her resource for Bible studies, The Connect Cards was released by Cru Press. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram, periscope, blab and her author site.
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