The view from my computer screen, my window to the world, is disheartening. Social media has become a place of constant turmoil and bickering, any opposing view on any topic is labeled as idiotic. Assumptions are made and names are called.
Grace is nowhere to be found, and the permanent mark of the internet ruined any chance at second chances.
Through social networking, (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) with a click of a button, we can convey our like or dislike of whatever flashes across the screen. Either thumbs up or thumbs down, each post requires an immediate vote on the opinions of everyone else, right?
Ironically, what brought us to such sites was the idea of connection. Companionship. Staying in touch. The next best thing to human contact, acceptance and approval.
Just like back in junior high school, we all still seek instant ratification and possess an innate longing to simply be liked.
Which just proves we’re human.
But it could also mean we’re looking for likes in all the wrong places. What we crave most is the one thing this world cannot provide.
Jesus lived out the opposite of all that comes naturally to today’s society. He never got offended, even when those closest to him doubted or betrayed him. He embraced the outcasts, chose to spend time alone when crowds clamored after him, spoke truth when lies were more popular, and found hope in the heart of murderers. He sprinted toward whomever everyone else tried to escape.
He often healed someone, then asked any witnesses to keep it quiet. Because at that moment, it was personal. A gift. A relationship. A holy moment between two people.
No one understood him, and his popularity was fleeting. At the end, when he entered Jerusalem riding a donkey, the same people who heralded him as a King would crucify him a week later.
Because the world is broken, and will always default toward hatred.
He knew this, but he came anyway.
He warned us about what it would take to walk in his footsteps in Luke 6.
“When people hate you, when they exclude you, insult you, and write you off on account of me, you are blessed. When those things happen, rejoice. You have a great reward in heaven.” (Luke 6:22-23, The Voice)
But he goes even further.
“When everyone speaks well of you, you are in danger, for their ancestors spoke well of false prophets too.” (Luke 6:26)
False prophets? You mean people who change their stance to whatever is popular at the time? Or people who grandstand and blast others to shame them to come into their correct way of thinking? Or people who spew hatred and judgment in the name of love?
I’d hate to become one of those people, no matter how many likes it brings.
Some days, most days, I don’t get the world and it doesn’t get me.
But that’s okay. I sure am thankful to be here.
So until further notice, I will continue to love those who cross my path, whether in person or online, and trust they are there for a reason.
A ‘holy moment between two people’ kind of reason.
Because following Jesus will never lead to more Facebook followers.