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Hey there, I'm Sunny Shell, a wretch saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. I'm married to the most incredible man on earth, who loves Jesus more than he loves me, and we have two precious adult sons.

The compassionately endures me through my metabolic disease (since 2004) that enables me to be more prayerful and careful about commitments I make and helps me to make the best use of my short time here on earth.

If you want to know more about me, click HERE.

Facebook: Whose Face Do You Display?


Ah, Facebook, our beloved friend and greatest foe. What are we, as Christians to do with Facebook? Whose face do we choose to display—ours, or Christ's? Whose life is magnified on our personal timeline and news feeds? What do we mostly share and who have we chosen to surround ourselves with by accepting or making friend requests?

Are we enticed by the world and encumbered with its dealings (politics, our jobs, our personal rights, physical health, etc.) that that is the prevalent face everyone sees?

I'm not suggesting that sharing pictures of us, our families and the life God has given us is a bad thing. And I'm not suggesting we never share anything about politics,  our jobs, religions freedoms, or healthy lifestyles. What I'm doing is questioning: Is it the things of God or the things of this world that mostly populate our personal timeline as well as our news feed where we're greatly influenced (whether we like it or not) by what we see, hear and read?

We're commanded and strongly warned in Scripture to choose our company wisely (1 Cor 15:33). Nowadays, our "company" not only includes people we physically invite into our homes, but also the company we virtually invite into our homes via the all-too-easily-accessible internet, our televisions and even our smart phones, that often makes us dumb (this is another topic for another day).

Depending on how we start our day (we either give our first to the Lord or to ourselves), and how we choose to spend our time, drastically effects whose face we end up displaying on Facebook—Christ's, or ours.

"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
~2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (ESV)

We can choose to begin our day with Jesus Christ, or we can choose to begin our with social media so we can have our egos fed and agendas pushed forward. We can choose to open up the Word of God, consume a heavenly feast from our Lord, concluding, we've tasted and seen that the Lord is indeed good. Then, we can choose to remain seated and be still so we can meditate on the sumptuous meal from the Bread from Heaven—the Word of God. Or we can begin our days with God's Word, but rather than remaining still before the Lord, allowing our spiritual food to settle and strengthen us, we can quickly pop up, check it off our "religious duty" list and walk away unchanged.

Some of the choices I make to get my heart, mind and spirit united with God's Word is through singing hymns, reading the Scripture associated with it, and listening to good sermons by faithful preachers and teachers of the Word, like the one below with Alistair Begg (Truth For Life).


"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."
~2 Timothy 3:1-5
Isn't it amazing that God had this passage written more than 2,000 years ago, but it perfectly describes our world today...especially on Facebook?

No matter how hard we try to display a positive, I-have-it-altogether-don't-you-wish-you-were-me posts and pictures on Facebook, we'll always miss the mark. We may be able to fool ourselves and our "friends" on Facebook by our well-edited lives we choose to display, but we'll never fool God. No matter how many commendations we receive from others through "likes" on our posts, we will never achieve the acceptance of a holy God without being washed clean by the blood of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.

Therefore, we, as Christians should live every day as if we know that our lives are short, they are not our own and we owe all our love, adoration and magnification to Christ alone. This not only includes how we live at home, at work, at school, church or at play, but it includes how we behave in our "online" world bolstered by Facebook.

Here's something to consider: How long would an unbeliever have to go down your timeline to know you're more than just another religious person? How long will they have to go down your timeline to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How long will they have to go down your timeline to see that your life is different from theirs because you love what God loves and hate what God hates? Will it be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or sadly...years before they can distinctly see the holy life of Christ shine through you?

Next time, before you post something on Facebook, ask yourself, "Whose face, whose life, do I inherently want to share and display for all to see, mine, or Christ's?

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2 comments:

  1. Hi there precious sister Susan, yes, I very much doubt anyone really has 500+ friends. I myself only have 60 something friends. I even have a note I ask everyone to read BEFORE they friend request me. I know others are on Facebook for different reasons than I am and I don't judge them for that. However, if we claim to be Christians, we ought to act like it no matter where we are...in real life or virtual life.


    And I agree with you, social media often makes people feel lonelier and/or more depressed about the quality of their lives rather than actually improve it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I use Facebook to stay in touch with the people in my life: to let them know what's going on in my life, and to find out what's going on in their lives. Imagine I had time to write letters to my friends, call them on the phone and talk for an hour a week, or go visit them frequently. If I had all that, Facebook would be useless. But I do NOT have time to call even my family members every week to find out what's going on in their lives. I do however have time to check Facebook to see what they are willing to share semi-publicly, or privately with me.

    I agree with Susan that having 500 friends is ridiculous. But it's not too far off. Personally I have 222 Facebook "friends." Among these are 42 family members, 10 people I went to school with before college, 60 people who were my classmates, professors, etc during college, 73 people who are people I either go to church with now or have in the past, 25 of my former co-workers, and the rest are miscellaneous friends I have picked up that don't fit those categories. All but three of them are people I know in real life (those three are exceptions...people I would like to know in real life, but distance separates us).

    My Facebook page is a catch-all for what is happening in my life. It has politics, sports, Biblical stuff, personal events, things I'm simply thinking about, etc. Everybody that reads my page gets to find out more about me and what matters to me. Is that narcissistic? I don't think so. Because I want to learn more about them as well. "My house is beautiful"?? I posted photos during and after of me pulling dead mice out of the wall. Not exactly "beautiful."

    I use Facebook to keep in touch with others. To encourage them, to pray for them, and to let them know how they can pray for me. I'm sorry if your experience was different.

    ReplyDelete

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." ~ C.T. Studd
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