Friday, February 25, 2011

My Soapbox on the Social Network

There are two kinds of people on facebook...those who use it as a purely social avenue, and those who use it as a soapbox of their political opinions. I will admit, I have worn both sets of shoes. But when I slip into the soapbox slippers, it affects me outside of the cyber realm. An opposing comment or a post that completely attacks my belief, can get under my skin and bug, bug, bug me.

In this information age, it is so easy to feel like you must contribute to the information...and if you feel passionately about something, you feel it is your duty to inform the misinformed, persuade the opposition, and stand up for what is right.

The problem for me is, when I have allowed myself to bear the burden of changing the minds of others, I get too emotionally caught up, too offended, too worried that my words aren't being "read" properly...and in the end, I run the risk of losing credibility with the very people I should be praying for and reaching out too.

Something that has surprised me lately, is how much I have felt like I need to guard my eyes when I get on facebook...not just from opinions that tick me off, but from advocates for issues I agree with... it is not right to always dwell on the negative, the unjust, the darkness...

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Sometimes I just need to guard my heart. I'm not always ready to be slammed with the stuff of life that can depress my soul. I have found that I need this self-preservation in order to be effective in my reality, in my God-given tasks...if I can avoid spiraling into the dark realm of hopelessness and constant witnessing of dark triumphs, I am more effective in the place God has me. And I can embrace the noteworthy, the lovely, and step ahead in faith, changing the world that way.

I am beginning to realize there is another way to fight the wolves out there, but it's not the in your face approach for me anymore. I have a BIG GOD and He has BIG PLANS. And even though I am far from a great example, if I can be the hands and feet of Christ-- raise my children as awesome men (and woman :) ) along God's path, support the just institutions, those who are actually DOING something and not just preaching it, then I don't think slipping into those soapbox shoes on a social network is necessary...Christ was among the people, living with them, LOVING them...not behind some screen...talking to people He may never see face to face, arguing with those He doesn't even know, really.

And while I am sure I will post something I am passionate about at some point again (especially during the election season), I'll think twice, because as much as I can justify that I am informing the misinformed...I am also risking the chance of ticking them off and losing their connection. What if I am the only Christ follower connection they have? Is it worth it?

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