Thursday, August 28, 2014

On Facebook

My husband and I recently decided to close out our Facebook accounts, and while this elicited support from some, others weren't as understanding.  One person in particular let me know that, for him, Facebook was just a given and routine part of his day, a part of his life.  My initial unspoken response to this was "well, good for you, but that doesn't mean it has to be a part of mine." I didn't say it, but I was thinking it and I resented everything about the way in which he condescendingly presented his reasons for staying on it while belittling mine for walking away from it.  I felt like each individual should be able to make that decision independent of coarse objections from others.  Though I'm sure he was well intentioned, he nevertheless came across as judgmental and insensitive.  Absolutely nothing about the conversation made me want to talk to him again in the near future, and losing sleep over it the following night only irritated me more.  I was unable to shake the uncharacteristically pompous tone in his usually loving and humble voice, and no matter what I did I simply couldn't shake the feeling of annoyance and resentment.  In my prayers, however, I began to ask God if maybe I had made a mistake.  Was I supposed to stay connected so that others wouldn't feel disconnected?  Was I meant to ignore all the reasons my husband and I had for deactivating it so that a small few might not feel out of touch?  In the aforementioned conversation, the person also reminded me that my posts were inspiring to many and used by God often.  His point seemed to be that by me closing out my account, I was also shutting that door of usefulness in God's kingdom. This, too, I considered on my sleepless night of prayer.  Did God need Facebook to use me?  Did I need Facebook to be used by God? His answer was surprisingly unsurprising.

As I sought the Lord in prayer that night after closing Facebook, I wound up in the book of Luke.  In an instant I had my answer.  In chapter 16, verse 15, the New King James Version says this: "For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God." In the Message translation it reads like this: "What society sees and calls monumental, God sees through and calls monstrous." Just a couple of days prior to this, before I had actually closed the account, I had been speaking with a colleague about how Facebook through the years had become quite "monstrous."  It was the word we both used to describe the social networking giant, and I knew when I read Luke 16:15, that although not all men would be on my side for shutting it down, the Lord most certainly was.  If there's anything we know about Facebook with it's 1.23 billion users, it's that it is definitely highly esteemed among men.  That's a lot of users.  Read it again.  1.23 billion users.  Immediately, I'm reminded of Matthew 7:13-14 that talks about the two different ways of life.  In the NKJV it says this: "Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by itBecause narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."  A path paved with 1.23 billion people has to be pretty broad and easy to find.  Coincidence?

To be clear, I'm not dismissing the positive qualities that Facebook does have and the Godly platform for which it can definitely be used. I don't think it's some awful site that no one should join, but I am addressing the reality that it's not all good.  It has been the playground for many an affair, teen cyber-bullying, and a handful of other psychological detriments, but of course there's going to be good to come from it because that's our God! We know from Romans 8:28 that God can go into the most vile of settings and weave all things together for righteousness and good and holiness.  He can bring beauty out of ash, joy from mourning, and hope and praise from despair (Isaiah 61:3). Genesis 50:20 reminds us that what the enemy means for our harm, God will use for good, and for a season of my own lifetime, I was one of those people who God used to bring Facebook good.  Who knows, maybe in the future, I'll be used on Facebook by Him again, and that's okay, but in the here and now it's time to move on.  And that's okay too.  

Some believe that life without Facebook equates isolation, but I must disagree.  After all, however did we communicate and connect before 2004 when Facebook was born onto our life's scene?  Surely we must have talked somehow? Maybe we picked up the phone or traveled more.  I think I'd like to do both, a getting back to the basics if you will. Is Facebook a great way to connect?  Sure, but so are telephones, handwritten letters, emails, and face to face encounters, and I venture to say that the unions garnered through the latter are far more genuine. Those out of my 337 Facebook contacts with whom I have an honest and reciprocal relationship will not be adversely impacted by the closure of my account, and if they are I must question the authenticity of the relationship.  If ever we were truly connected, we will be connected still, Facebook batteries not required.  As for God's use of me, He was never limited to Facebook, nor am I.  The Message translation of Psalm 147:5 says that "Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we'll never comprehend what he knows and does." Similarly, Ephesians 3:20 assures us that He is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..." and I'm quite certain this includes Facebook.  For those of you pressing on to use Facebook for good, I applaud you.  Carry on and keep fighting the good fight of faith for your King (1 Timothy 6:12), and for those of you who find solace in unplugging, I applaud you too.  Carry on and keep fighting the good fight of faith for your King.  
thenextweb.com

2 comments:

  1. Always love your blogs, young lady. So insightful and really get to the heart. After reading this, I found myself realizing that I have misrepresented myself as being "Friend" to the ones I have, because I look at their FB pics. The Lord has been speaking to me about "Relationships" and He just highlighted another NO NO for me. Your friends are Treasures from him. They are to be highly regarded and esteemed. Simply hitting a "Like" button does not constitute a call, a note, or even a text (takes effort, time) to say. "Hey, I was thinking about you. Hope youre doing well." I've neglected my friends. Gulp! It's not always pretty, that mirror he uses. But time to stop taking the precious things for granted. I am going to stay on FB. I like the photos. I just do. But I am going to make more of an effort to connect than merely hitting a thumbs up key! Thank you for the insight, sister. Always look forward to them. Keep writing. We're reading and being blessed!

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  2. A few thoughts from me:
    I think about closing down FB very often. I use it daily, many times per day. Your posts on FB were always positive and inspirational, but you are not obliged to inspire me. You need to do what is good for you and your husband. I love you even if I never see your name on FB again. Keep writing and sharing through your blog. When I read your words I hear God speaking through you. I love you.

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