How Is It? – A Poem About the Wise Use of Social Media

3019562120_Turtle_Computer_CUNY_xlargeHow is it that I

A Bible scholar and pastor

Can open up my Facebook but not my Bible?

Spending countless hours

Scrolling through nonesense

Rather than using it as an opportunity

To pray over people’s lives?

Jenny broke her arm, Jerry last his job, Julie’s expecting a baby.

Jake’s going on a trip, Jessica’s engaged, Josh just got into grad school.

I use Facebook as my free newspaper,

What’s happening today with:

Climate change,

Racism,

Shootings,

And the elections?

I use it as a way to find out

What’s pressing on people’s minds at the moment:

The increasing promiscuity of our generation,

Youth who are leaving the church,

And the ever growing lines at the store as we wait for our Christmas gift purchases.

I use it to see what others are blogging about:

Church politics,

Grace,

And Grandma Epp’s butternut fudge cookies.

I use it to do mindless quizzes:

What disciple are you,

What colour are you,

What chocolate are you?

But there’s one thing I don’t use it for,

I DON’T USE IT TO PRAY.

How different would my interaction with social media be

If I used every Facebook status to reflect Christ’s love,

Every Instagram to draw people closer to Christ,

And every blog to tell the person we consider a sinner,

“You’re forgiven.  I love and accept you, and more importantly, so does Christ!”?

I’m bold about proclaiming to 1,000 “friends”that I got an A in Greek,

I unashamedly proclaim to 500 followers that I like Reese’s more than Coffee Crisp,

I proudly Instagram the chicken I made last night,

But I am utterly silent when asked to pray over a meal at a restaurant.

What would happen if I exchanged meaningless posts for live conversations?

Fake invitations for homemade cards?

And texts messages for eye contact?

Never in history have we had such networking at our fingertips.

Emails and texts received within seconds of being sent,

“Friends” we’ve only met once knowing that we prefer Crest to Colgate,

Complete strangers reading our most intimate struggles on public blogs,

And yet, never have we felt so lonely.

Am I saying deactivate your Facebook?

Never write another Tweet or blog in your life?

No.

But what I am saying is this:

Next time you’re tempted to mindlessly scroll down Facebook in an attempt to avoid studying for the Greek exam,

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you who on your newsfeed you should pray for.

Ask Christ for wisdom to proclaim His love freely on Twitter as you should.

Next time you’re tempted to Instagram your dinner,

Take a moment to pause and pray for those who go hungry.

And next time you’re about to write a status,

Ask God if this will truly bless someone or only hurt them further.

Never have we had such a network at our fingers,

Never have we had such opportunities to witness to others around us.

Amen.

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