Upon reflection, I believe a response I gave to a friend on Facebook is probably a statement I need to communicate to all of you who follow my thoughts on social media. I say this not because I feel you must have my knowledge but because it explains why I post what I post. After an exchange of posts and comments on a particular ethical concern that I have for American culture in general, I responded as follows:
“You are correct that we get what we want. Culture rolls and kingdoms fall based on the self-destructive bent of humanity. But we carve out spaces of influence within those battles within communities. Arguments made against something on a global level, where it seems fruitless, can change a small community and preserve something good for future generations. The few are not faithful because they are ignorant and lazy, but rather the opposite. New kingdoms are born out of surviving wisdom and surviving families. So, take my posts as an opportunity to bring a little slice of knowledge and wisdom to your sphere of influence in the hopes that a healthy way of life can be preserved and fostered among some. I’m certainly thankful for your posts, and add your knowledge to that which will benefit my family.”
As a follower of Christ, I await his return. However, I do not await his return idly. I know that we are all giving each other advice about how to live as we walk together towards death. Yet, it truly matters how we walk towards death! Even though I know that this body is destined to die (or be changed in an instance), I still promote healthy living, good stewardship, biblical ethics, philanthropy, and numerous other agendas that I’m aware have a time limit to them. Why? Because it matters what we do with the time we have.
That said, because I’m a follower of Christ I recognize that some aspects of life….some relationships and commitments…have more spiritual and ethical weight than others for us as individuals and communities, and thus I do not count every battle as a battle in which to fight or die. As much as the internet makes me feel like I have God’s powers, I do not. Thus I must make the most of the context that God has guided me into with the time, energy, and knowledge that he has equipped me with. Social media is a way to give a caring ‘nod’ to many things that I simply don’t have the time for, access to, or adequate authority and information concerning. I believe that these nods can be informative and encouraging, but they can also be distracting and misleading. So, I seek to also bring a healthy dose of honesty to my nods. I’d ask you to do the same. Some of the most damaging relational situations created on the internet come from caring individuals who battle with other caring individuals on issues that neither have much information or authority on. To some this is a flippant pastime. To others it’s a convictional passion. I know that I will be held accountable for all these things by my God, and that is concerning as well as encouraging to me.
During this political season in the United States, and countless other places in the world, I’d encourage you to remember that you are walking towards death with others that are attempting to live a fruitful life as well. Remember that they are going to die too, and that the time that you have with them is limited and valuable. Please work with me in remembering that words are powerful, and images and memes can be even more powerful that words. There are many issues worthy of giving nods to but make sure to honestly approach your relationship with those issues, recognizing that your identity is not wrapped up in whether you can win that argument or look more knowledgeable on those issues. I say these things to myself, because I have struggled in this area in my life. I know that the days are evil but I also know that the days are beautiful and meaningful, and thus I want to spend them well. Let’s do that together as best we can.