Facebook Folly

Today at Bible study, while everyone was still gathering, I had a quick conversation with one of the other ladies (you’re a blessing, Jo Ann). We got onto the subject of Facebook—more specifically, how things mysteriously appear with our names attached. A few days ago, I started getting email comments on a wedding photo of my daughter I supposedly posted. The strange thing is, I put it in my album back in 2009 and haven’t thought anything of it since. Jo Ann commented that she’s no longer “liking” anything, because it gets misused and her name is attached to all sorts of things that she doesn’t like.

I will admit, I’m Facebook stupid—and downright retarded when it comes to Twitter and Pinterest. But I accidentally discovered one possible cause for Jo Ann’s issue today when perusing Yahoo News! in search of an idea for a blog. Every site I clicked on had my Facebook picture up in the right-hand corner asking if I wanted to delete this activity from my Facebook page—and I suspect if I didn’t click “delete” it would be posted. Talk about Big Brother watching! Sure, I have no problem if people see me checking out legitimate news sites, but I have to admit, I’m occasionally drawn to gossipy news that feels just a little sinful to give attention to—you know what I’m talking about—Celebrity or fashion news, who was caught having an affair with whom, etc.

I wonder how many of us would be more careful about what drew our attention if we knew it would be broadcasted to all our “friends.” H. Jackson brown, Jr. said, “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” I used to put this one up on my board when I was a teacher. I’d often lead a discussion with my students about what it means and how they might respond to this gem of a quote. Our reputation is not always in line with our true character.

Imagine a world where no one could hide behind a façade they create for others to see. That would certainly change politics as we know it. We’re quick to judge others when their faulty characters are unveiled (Tiger Woods is a perfect example of this), but how many of us would be comfortable if our family and friends saw every inner flaw we work so hard to camouflage? I’m ashamed to admit that my inner being is riddled with insecurities that would certainly smash to smithereens the confident persona I try to exhibit. My acquaintances wouldn’t even recognize me!

It’s easy to get caught up in protecting our reputations among our peers because we want people to like us. I sometimes find myself agreeing to do some ministry assignment, not because I feel led, but because I don’t want others to think unkindly of me. And even though I know in my heart that I only have to answer to God, I find that my head often leads the way. And whether God blesses that activity or not, my attitude isn’t usually what it should be because my motivation isn’t pure.

The truth is there’s someone much more important than our Facebook friends watching our activity—and He’s privy to our inner most thoughts, too! And yet, Jesus somehow loves us just as we are—flaws and all. If we keep our eyes on Him, pick ourselves up and continue to follow regardless of the number of times we stumble, we will eventually have an inner character that matches our outer reputation. My deep insecurities are far fewer now than they were a decade ago, and by the grace of God, that growth will continue in the next ten years. I’ve discovered that it isn’t the confidence I have in myself that’s changed, but the confidence I have in my Lord and Savior who’s death and resurrection makes me righteous in God’s site. And I didn’t have to do anything to attain this but to trust in Jesus. Talk about an easy transformation!

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