It’s Just Facebook

Posted on January 25, 2012 · Posted in Communication, Culture, Facebook, Social Networking, Worldview

There is a tendency to follow the world’s lead and see life as a mixture of the profound and the mundane – to contrast the exciting, meaningful, fun parts of life with the normal, dull, daily grind parts of life. For many this would be the contrast between chilling and hanging out and doing something that really matters. Facebook would fall into the hanging out category.  It’s no big deal, just something to do when there is nothing to do. With the advent of high speed phone networks, you can update your Facebook status anytime using your mobile phone. Tweeting can happen anywhere. So, while you are standing in line at the store, you can let the rest of civilization know that you are standing in line at the store. Facebook, in this context, becomes a way to make the mundane a little more tolerable, a little less boring.  But is this the way that God wants you to think about life, that large chunks of life are meant to be trivial.  It is not common to think of hanging out in terms of glorifying God.

Seeing parts of life as mundane is the kind of thinking that Colossians 2:8 describes as empty deceit.  You see, you can be taken in by the trivial as easily as the profound.  If you buy in to the belief that there are parts of life that are trivial, of no real value, you have been taken captive just as surely as if you were to believe that the story line of the DaVinci code or the Mayan calendar is true.  Your life, all of it, was purchased by the death of Christ so that you could live a new life, not just some of the time, but all of the time. This does not mean is it wrong to relax or take a break after a full day’s work.  But even then, it is good to remember that rest is something that God has given to us. God made our bodies to need rest and relaxation. But just as Christians should view love, money or philosophy differently than the world does we should also view relaxation and hanging out differently as well. Jesus died to give new life to his people, not just new life sometimes but all of the time. The apostle Paul says it this way in Colossians 4:5:

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. ESV

 

The NIV translates the last phrase of this verse as “make the most of every opportunity”.  Social Networking  puts you squarely in the path of those outside of the faith. This surely is not trivial nor mundane.  There are opportunities to make use of your Facebook time to enhance the reputation of Christ.  Simple comments will do – ones that indicate God is more involved in life than we can ever imagine.  Facebook time can be used to see if a friend seems to need encouragement. It can be used how others are thinking so that you can pray for them or contact them. You can even point out Facebook comments that are unbiblical to your children, much as the father in Proverbs 7 makes the most of the opportunity of observing a young man being seduced.  Spiritual warfare is real. The most dangerous enemy tactic is the one we don’t see coming. The enemy is adept at using weapons that appear to be harmless to ensnare God’s people.

 

So it is easy to think that hey, it’s just Facebook, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that all of life is to be lived for the glory and honor of God.  If there are moments when you just kick back and don’t think about anything but what seems cool to you at the moment, you are missing the real value of life and putting yourself in harm’s way at the same time. The call of folly, like the call of wisdom, goes out in the streets, in homes and in the best places in town.  Those who are simple will not be able to distinguish between the two.  Facebook can encourage you to write and talk about you and be caught up with you. Or you can use Facebook time to be different, to hang out differently, to view other people differently.  You don’t have to preach sermons, but you do want to bring glory to God. Your status updates can include thoughts about the way life really is. For example – you could post something like this:

Life is not a spectator sport – it is war.

This is short. It is pithy. It is true. It may even provide some opportunities to say what is behind it.  So , do your social networking realizing that since you belong to Christ, your communications, your networking involves his reputation as well as your own. Make the most of this opportunity.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter! You'll get our latest blog posts, special discounts, news about upcoming resources, plus a free ebook and a chance to win our monthly $50 coupon giveaway.

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.