I love networks. I love networking.
I think there is something rather powerful and effective about networking through social media.
Community through blogging, through Instagram, through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat.
It’s fast. There’s a community of a large array of people. Posts are mass-distributed.
The name of Jesus can be spread far and wide. Our testimonies can go viral.
But, here it comes. A “Jesus nugget” that, to be honest, I was pushing away.
But the Lord broke through the wall I was somewhat intentionally putting up. And let me tell you, that wall crumbled.
Have you heard me talk about revival? If you haven’t, let me give you a quick intro: Revival. For the name of Jesus. In this generation, in the young generation. The Lord is putting it upon our hearts. Jesus is lighting a FIRE in this young generation to live with PASSION for His name.
Revival is coming. We are going back to the heart of Jesus. Then, out into the world.
And I think that social media can and will play a powerful role in revival. Like I said earlier, posts spread far and wide.
Jesus has been showing me that He’s all about personal relationship.
Face to face, heart to heart. Hugs. Holding hands to pray. Eating meals together. Looking into each other’s eyes. Intimacy. Intentional. Relationships.
Hear this: Social media is so good. Seriously. But, it needs to stay in the right place in both our lives and in our hearts.
Social media is all about people. Remember that. It’s all about people. About staying connected with people, reaching people. Not about us, nor our profile, nor our bio.. blah blah. It’s a great way to start relationships, to maintain them, etc. But… it all leads us to building legit relationships with people.
Relationships where we see them face to face, heart to heart. Hugging. Holding hands to pray. Eating meals together. Looking each other in the eye.
It’s like a “helper” for our relationships. It’s a “supporter,” a “maintainer.” Not the basis of them.
It helps us meet people. It helps us stay in contact. But after that, it’s all on us to grow the relationships.
My sweet Jesus has been showing me that I have held social media (blogs, Instagram, facebook, etc.) at a place too high in my heart. I held it in a place so high that I was neglecting the actual people around me. (Ironic, huh?) I would like other’s statuses, comment on photos, respond to messages, and think that’s it. Think that’s good, that it’s enough.
I would walk from place to place with my head down, with my gaze locked on my phone screen.
Checking emails, updating statuses, blah blah blah.
Then my sweet Jesus dropped this on my heart:
“How often are you too busy updating your calendar and checking instagram that you don’t see the broken heart right in front of you?”
Dang. Call me a prisoner, because I’m convicted. (Blessings to you if you laughed at that.)
Seriously though? When did we start valuing cyber-relationships over personal ones?
If you read through the Gospels, which are the Bible books all about the life and ministry of Jesus, this is what you will find:
Jesus being with people.
It’s what his life what made of. Even hours before he would be betrayed, in his last hours of life as he knew it, he intentionally decided to have a dinner with his 12 friends. (Well, 11 really. But that’s another story.)
Seriously though. As I’m flipping through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), I see this:
Jesus calls his disciples/friends. Crowds follow Jesus to be with him. Jesus talks to them, teaching them. Jesus heals people. Jesus tells this outcast he’s having dinner at his house. Jesus hangs out with some kiddos. Jesus befriends a promiscuous woman. Jesus rides in a donkey. (Not really contributing to my point, but I love picturing that.) Jesus commends a widow for her offering. Jesus is having dinner with some friends as a woman pours some perfume on him. Jesus goes boating with his closest friends. Jesus feeds a bunch of people.
Do you see a common trend? Jesus + people.
Meaningful interaction and intentional relationships.
It’s one of the main things I notice when I read the Gospels.
SO friends, that’s what I want to be like, too. I want to look my friends in the eyes. I want to sit at a table with people, eating and laughing and telling stories. I want to live like that.
I want to be there to notice when my friend is having a rough day. I want to see it in her eyes. I want to give her a bear hug. I want to hold hands with her as I pray over her.
And not even just my “friends.” Also, the girl in front of me in line. The girl in the elevator with me. The cashier. The girl at the table next to me. I want to notice when she looks discouraged. When she looks sad. Or even when she looks super excited. And I want to look her in the eye and say, “Hi! How are you today?” And mean it.
Friends, how many times have we been too obsessed with our iPhone that we’ve missed the broken heart right in front of us?
It kills me to think about that.
How many times have we forsaken loving eye contact and huge bear hugs for a mere comment on a screen?
How many times have we neglected an intimate, deep, personal friendship for a mere screen acquaintance?
How many times have we brushed off real pain, real brokenness, real hurt.. just because we weren’t there to notice?
It literally kills me.
God is intentional about everything He does. There is no randomness; there are no coincidences.
It is no accident that you are around the people that you are.
It is no coincidence the people you live your life with.
And I truly, truly believe that Jesus wants us to be real with our relationships. And intentional. And work hard. And be there. And care.
Social media can be a great thing to use in friendships- If Jesus were here now, He would’ve had some awesome insta posts. (Can you picture a selfie of Jesus as he’s walking on water? Or a selfie of him on a donkey? Or his subtweets to the Pharisees?) I’m sure the Lord is totally glorified in our loving and supportive comments and our encouraging DM’s and what not.
But, they should not take the place of real interaction. Of looking people in the eyes. Of hugging them. Of praying over them. Of laughing with them.
Friends, let’s make an effort to put down our phones. It’s hard, really hard. I get it.
When I’m at a restaurant with friends, I am trying to put my phone face down. When I am doing fun things, I am striving to not check social media. (I can post the pic later.) When I am with people, sound goes off.
I want to be there. I want to be present. I want to be real.
I want people to know I care. And that I will listen. And laugh. And hug.
Friends, let’s do this.
Jesus, work in our hearts and let us desire intimate relationships more than social media ones. Let our hearts just naturally become aware of the people around us. Lead us to your people, and use us as a vessel of your tender love, your encouraging words, your hugs, and of your presence.
With much, much love. And with my phone off. –Melissa
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