On Social Media, Transparency, and Following Jesus
Laurie Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope found in Jesus. She is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s film, Heaven, as well as on many other national and regional radio and television programs. She is a contributor to Zondervan’s NIV Bible for Women and writes at LaurieCoombs.org. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their three daughters.
- 2014 Feb 04
I once heard a pastor say that we often compare our entire lives to everyone else's highlight reel. I believe that's true. He was talking about comparison, making the point that we cannot accurately judge our lives by looking at others because most of us share only the parts of our lives that make us look good.
Peruse Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site, and you'll soon discover that it's all a farce––a facade we display to the world to prove self-worth. To receive validation that our lives really are worth living. Some spend hours every day on these sites, wasting the time they've been given in an attempt to make their time on this earth seem worthy in the eyes of others. In an attempt to feel better about their lot in life.
Now, I'm not saying all social media is bad. It can, certainly, be used for good. In this new age, social media has the potential to be used to disseminate messages of hope, love, and peace to the masses like never before. But the temptation to show only our highlight reel must be resisted, standing firm in our worth in Jesus, if we hope to have any real impact in this world.
Life is messy. It's complicated and difficult for every one of us––believer and non-believer, alike. But there is hope in Jesus––and in Jesus alone––and I am convinced that if more Christ followers shared their difficulties with greater transparency, pointing to the hope they have in Jesus, more light would shine into this wonderfully-complicated-broken world, and many would be saved.
Let's be the people who redeem this new age, with all the temptations brought on by new technologies, and use it for the glory of God. Just as God uses all that is intended to harm for good, let us use what has potential to harm and tempt us for good as well.
As Christ followers, we are called to be different. To stand out. Let's do this. Let's stop using technology the same way the world uses it and start revolutionizing it for Christ, standing firm in our faith and refusing to conform to society's pressure to exalt ourselves through false images. Let's show the world our weaknesses, in truth and transparency, pointing them to the source of our strength. Together, we can bring light. We can be the hands that redeem part of this broken world.
It's time to take a stand.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:2