Tuesday, February 24, 2009

His Space, Not My Space

Because I’m always trying to find even more ways in which to display my ineptitude, I recently joined Facebook. In case you don’t know about Facebook, it’s one of those internet social networking sites where people go to . . . umm . . . well - I’m new at this and still trying to figure out that part.
For those of us who became familiar with computers in order to accomplish word processing tasks, build spreadsheets, manage databases, or build fancy slide show presentations, this ‘internet networking thing’ is just a whole new world. In addition to Facebook, there are networking sites like MySpace, Xanga, LinkedIn, Blogger, YouTube, Classmates Online, and MSN Groups, just to name a few.
And this whole new ‘cyber world’ is not really a difficult place in which to maneuver, it’s just kind of intimidating. Most internet sites are getting easier and easier to manipulate, but the ‘newness’ and lack of instructions often make them seem ominous. (It’s kind of like my kids getting a new video game – they open it up and put it in and start playing. Meanwhile, I’m looking for instructions, rules, objectives, etc. They tell me, “Just play!”)
I’m not opposed to change. I’m not wanting to stand in the way of progress. In fact, because we are called to be in the world even though not of the world, I believe we should be well-acquainted with the ways and methods the world uses to communicate. If the internet gives us the opportunity to spread the Good News, we should embrace it and use it for that.
Buuuuuuut – I’m not seeing much of that.
In fact, on the same Facebook page where someone mentions their church membership and their favorite Christian music, they will spell out their own personal recipe for a hangover cure. What is that communicating?
The vast majority of what I see people communicating out there relates to: Who I am; Where I’m from; What I’m doing; Where I’ve been; Who I listen to; What I like; How I look; My favorite this; My worst that; etc.
Do you see a common thread running through that list? That’s right – it’s all about ME!
But, as Rick Warren so keenly pointed out in the first line of the Purpose Driven Life – “It’s not about you” (emphasis added).
No, ‘it’ – creation, life, eternity – ‘it’ is all about Him. And we should be living our lives all about Him.
That means when we are walking down the street, driving our car, mowing the grass, or surfing the internet. His purposes, His Name, His glory – that’s what we should be all about.
Now I’m not saying that your Facebook page should be a ‘fire and brimstone’ or ‘turn or burn’ evangelistic tirade against the pagan world. I’m just suggesting that if you participate in those internet networking sites, you can use them as a tool for His sake. Sure - tell people about your favorite movies, show them pictures of your vacation, give them links to websites you like. But the overall purpose and tone should point toward Him, not toward you.
The internet is just another tool. Lets use the world’s tools to accomplish His goals. After all, Who is it all about?

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. (Philippians 1:27, NLT)

In it not of it,
Craig Hollingsworth

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