What if…the phrase itself usually makes me cringe, especially when I hear it coming out of the mouth of one of my children. This is due to the face that the statement to follow the “what if” will be highly unlikely. It’s usually something like “What if the sun were to fall into the earth?” Me: “We all would die, the end.” But then they respond with “well, what if…” and change up the scenario. I can’t ever satisfy them with an answer and that be enough. It drives me batty. Needless to say, I don’t care for the phrase.
Even so, this past Sunday night, as I sat at Winter Jam, surrounded by potentially more than 19,000 people, I found myself wondering, “What if…” What if all these people, proclaiming to be Christ followers, really truly acted like just that, genuine Christ followers? What if they proclaimed the gospel over proclaiming their own pursuits and agendas? How would Kansas City alone be different? What if…?
I began to ask myself these same questions. I began to scrutinize different aspects of my life. What if I used social media differently? How would my world change? How would it change those around me? Do all my FaceBook “friends” and twitter followers know I’m a believer? Do I project a Christ-like witness on Social Media? Do I proclaim the Gospel? If Jesus were to be sitting beside me as I scrolled through my posts and comments, would I be proud of what I had said? Would my comments and posts bring Glory to God or just to myself or my cause? Would I be embarrassed about how wrapped up and intertwined I had become in the ways and things of the world? I mean, how many people have ever come to Christ by what I have posted or by how I have commented? On the flip side, how many people have a turned away because of what I said or the nature in which I said it. My social media page may be the only Jesus someone ever sees. Will they really see Jesus? Or will they see me “standing for a cause?”*
It was a real heart check. What a difference so many people could make, without ever even getting out of the seat they were sitting in. As I scrutinized my own life, more and more “what if” questions came to mind. It was good for me. I thought it would be good for others too. A simple question to check your heart. So, I made a list. I even read the list to a very trusted advisor the next day because I wanted to make sure that MY heart was right and I didn’t want to cause a ruckus. I just wanted people to stop and think, to evaluate what they could be doing for the cause of Christ. That is my heart.
Consequently, I went on Twitter and posted “What if you were as passionate about your faith as you are about the political climate of our nation? #whatif #thinkaboutit” To date, I haven’t gotten one retweet, response, comment, nothing. But I have been told that I did cause quite a stir on FaceBook once it posted there via Twitter. (FYI, I usually stay away from FaceBook) If you felt compelled to comment, you either 1. missed the point of the post, or 2. You’re just attempting to justify your own actions and make yourself feel better.
But alas, maybe, just maybe, someone actually thought about what was being asked, played out the scenario in their head, and commented based on their own conviction, because this had NOTHING to do with any Republican, Democrat, Independent, Conservative, Liberal, Green Party, etc. There was no hidden message, there was no alternate agenda. This had everything to do with Jesus and the proclamation of the Gospel and the GOSPEL alone. Anything else was a misinterpretation of the post.
I won’t be reading any of the comments made on the previous post, nor the future posts. As I already stated, I don’t really get on FaceBook except to post things on the FSBC Student page. Someone else does that through my account a lot of the time anyway. I have found that my friend Alden is right, it steals your joy. As Amit Chowdhry writes “Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine recently conducted a study about the effects of social media habits on the moods of users. The research determined that the more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.” Therefore, I stay away and life is good.
So, over the next few days I will continue to post my “What if…” series. Not all of them are What if questions. But they’re personal. They’re intended for you to examine YOUR heart. It is not my intent to begin an argument. I’m astounded that I even have to take the time to give this explanation. But I guess it just proves the point that we all need a heart check. It is my intent and prayer that people will really take stock of their lives, how they interact with others, and how they use social media.
*Side note: Don’t hear me say there is in anyway a separation between your RELATIONSHIP and the rest of your life. Your faith should shape your political views. You can’t compartmentalize it. A true relationship with Christ permeates all aspects of your life, otherwise it’s not a relationship at all, it’s simply a religion. A few years back I heard a politician say (paraphrase) “I won’t allow my religion to influence my decision making process…” If that’s the case, then that’s simply what it really is, religion. This is the perfect example of the difference between a RELATIONSHIP and a religion. You can go to church as much as you want but it won’t make you a Christian any more than walking into your garage makes you a car. It is all about the RELATIONSHIP. But you can’t blast people and expect them to see Jesus, even if you’re blasting them “in Jesus name.” Never do we see Him do this anywhere in Scripture. When you “stand for a cause,” the way in which most people are “standing” today, you’re telling someone that they’re wrong. When you tell them they’re wrong and they have to change, are they going to change? Maybe 1 out of 10. Maybe. If they’re reasonable. Most of the time you’ll just make them angry. BUT, if you show them Jesus and allow Him to work in them, are they going to change? No stat necessary. Jesus loved people first, and then pointed out their sin. Take the woman at the well as an example. Or the woman that was about to be stoned for adultery. The examples are innumerable.
Are your posts and comments pointing them to Him by loving them FIRST? YOU and I can’t change people, only Jesus can.