Everyone and Everything

I’ve fallen out of love with Facebook.

And because Facebook is not my God or my neighbor, I’m free to look at it for what it is: a thing; a man-made thing; a thing bearing no divine image or breath; an inanimate thing that has no claim on me except that which I freely give it.

And so you see my dilemma as a Christian engaged with Facebook.

God has given his children dominion over everything. “Don’t draw back,” he says. “Move out into my entire world to heal it, bless it, comfort and care for it in my name. For the Spirit that is in you has overcome the spirit that is in the world. The work of Christ has freed and empowered you for this very purpose.”

Through the Son, the Father created an extended family, a holy body made up of many members, of which Christ is the Head. This new family shares one spiritual thread: that every person in the family, regardless of race, class, or tradition, is joined in body, mind, and soul to the life of Christ.

And now the Head leads his body – his children of every tribe and tongue – to live obedient, holy, and pleasing lives. Christ leads his body on earth as she suffers, and forgives, and takes up her cross, just as he did.

And so the purpose of the Body of Christ is to bless the world with our words and our actions until the final trumpet of God sounds. Those in the body and family of Christ follow our Head wherever he goes in the world; to live holy and purposeful lives in every nook and cranny of his creation. Even the nooks and crannies of Facebook?

Christians, then, are to be the fragrance of heaven everywhere they go. Citizens of heaven go with Christ to bring heaven’s welcome to everyone and everything. And Facebook, obviously, is part of western society’s ‘everything’ in 2018. Like it or not.

And so each time I post on social media there is a freedom to bless and renew and heal. There is freedom to forgive and build up. And there is also a temptation to tear down. To be independent and callous, thoughtless and contemptuous, arrogant and rude.

Each time I comment on a post or share it, there is a freedom to offer my own will or submit to the wisdom of heaven. Each online engagement there is the temptation to promote my own image and interests and forget my identity as a citizen of heaven.

As a Christian, I am a citizen of the kingdom of heaven first and foremost. I am a living stone set into the firm foundation of a living Christ who is striding through his world making everything new.

All that said. I have some thoughts for the person, like me, who has fallen out of love with Facebook.

1. Why do you access the FB platform? Are you trying to learn something? Teach something? Align yourself with something or someone? Are you trying to prove something is true? Are you hoping to connect with people you love? Are you trying to show courage and chutzpah and passion?

What is your aim? Sit quietly and be honest before your merciful God. Know thyself, and then post.

Heavenly Father. Where your Spirit is, I know there is true freedom. Please give me more of your light. Illuminate my hidden motivations and self-serving aims. Save me from my own self-righteousness and short-sightedness. Give me your courage and your heart so that I might bless. Amen.

2. What are you passing along? What do your likes, shares, and comments say to your brother, sister, or neighbor? Are you trying to be more spiritual than God? More merciful than God? More just than God?

Our Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Who do we have but you? Where would we go? Forgive our pride in thinking you need our help. Forgive our efforts to force and insist your kingdom come. Give us what we need to build up your kingdom with you as our Head. Amen.

3. There is no middle ground with God. Things are devoted to holiness or devoted to destruction. Is your time spent on social media devoted to holiness? Will it stand in the end? Will your minutes, carefully allotted from the God of the universe, accuse you of wasting this precious and singular life?

Dear Father. You see straight into my heart. You know my innermost being. Let your word and your spirit be a light to my path. Help me to know you as you want to be known. Keep me from temptation and harm. Help me to be brave as a citizen of heaven in this world that you love so much. Thank you for the work of Jesus and for the fellowship of your spirit. Amen.

Peace to all of you who wrestle with what to do with the thing of Facebook.

You are not alone.



7 responses to Everyone and Everything

  1. Jamie says:

    How timely, as I’ve been reflecting on my own motives and use of time on facebook. Thank you.

  2. Given Breath says:

    Jamie, what have been your thoughts? Where have you landed? I’d love to know your path…


  3. jimpriest says:

    Hello, Kim, This is a thoughtful post.  However, one sentence is confusing to me:  “And he leads his body to suffer and forgive in our Father’s world, just as he did.” He LEADS his body to suffer? Kim, that sounds contrary to my understanding of scripture.  I have several difficult health conditions, including cancer 4 years ago (I give praise to my heavenly father for my survival!).  I have never considered that God lead me to that suffering, or any of my physical suffering.   Can you please clarify? Thanks, Diane Priest

  4. Pam says:

    Thanks for OPENING UP MY EYES, mind &motives . Very helpful. FB IS. of the world & not GOD’S kingdom. I waste a lot of time doing nothing on FB. Thank you JESUS for giving Kim honest words for Christian people to serve you better.

  5. Given Breath says:

    Hi Diane, this is a good catch. It should read “And he leads his body IN suffering”.

    Becuase of the obedience of Jesus, there is no human suffering that can separate his people from his care. He is with us, he leads us, in and through our suffering because he has already gone there himself, in a body, and conquered death fully.

    You are right. Suffering falls on all of humanity. Christians are not exempt or given extra heaps. There is not a ‘special suffering’ that Christ leads us to, except that we take up whatever cross is ours, as he did, and follow him.

    I am grateful for your comment and glad to clarify. I will also go edit that sentence so it’s not hurtful or confusing to others. Peace to you!


  6. Trisha says:

    Still wrestling with it. You so eloquently penned the battles pro and con. Many of my Facebook friends are further away from my daily circle or reach, but their concerns are still prayer burdens to share, their celebrations are blessings filling me with joy. But the cons.. The struggle is real.

  7. Jamie says:

    Hi Kim, you asked me to elaborate on my thoughts as I’ve contemplated my motives in using facebook. I recently read John Ortberg’s book, “All the places you’ll go”. Excellent book; I highly recommend it. In the book it talks a little about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in relation to Facebook and other social media. He makes a good case for FOMO being instilled in us by God, as a desire to seek a deeper relationship with Him and that we misplace our desire when we turn to FB. It really got me to thinking… First, what am I missing out on with God when I am scrolling aimlessly through my FB wall?! What great adventures await me that I say I don’t have time for, but if I were to be real honest with myself I could make time for if I put my phone down. Like the youth mission thats been on my heart for over a year now. Then, as i processed that, I realized what a tool of distraction this was and how very very very many tools of distraction we have in our society today. I’m realizing a whole generation is growing up looking at their phones instead of making real connections and learning to use their time valuably. That’s when my heart started to break. It breaks for how easily we are lead astray, how quickly we become deceived, how comfortable we are in our laziness. My heart is hurting. I decided not to go into Facebook for one month, as an experiment to see how I felt. Its been just over a week. The best way to explain how I’ve felt is this: you know how scientists have performed experiments on lab rats where at the end they get a piece of cheese to reinforce desired behaviors. That is what a “like” or comment on FB is for me. I’m addicted, fighting off the temptation to grab my phone, scroll, post, like, comment, etc… It is almost unconscious behavior that I’ve become conscious of. And as I’ve felt the real struggle and looked for more peoductive uses of my time, I’m noticing the rest of my family buried in their phones. I just want to take them all away and do a permanent reset! Its been a very eye and soul opening experience.

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