July 20, 2012

Living Quietly: Reducing the Noise, Part II

...aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
~1 Thess. 4:11-12

Living quietly means more than controlling the level of noise allowed into my life. I am also convicted of the noise I contribute. 

Social media has allowed us to collect "followers" and "friends" like trinkets on a charm bracelet.  We are compelled to share intimate details of our lives with complete strangers, yet we are ashamed to ask friends to pray for us as we wrestle against sin. We brand ourselves with carefully crafted personas, afraid the true person cowering behind the screen isn't good enough. We allow site hits to determine our significance.

We shamelessly promote ourselves instead of the One who deserves all glory.

In considering the noise I contribute to the social media frenzy, I ask questions that are somewhat familiar:

Am I attempting to drown out the voice of God? I must aim to glorify Him and Him alone in what I post. Family accomplishments are to be celebrated, not paraded for public consumption.

Am I infringing on my family's privacy? Sharing what God is doing in our family can be an encouragement to others and testify to His goodness. Sharing my daughter's struggles or my husband's sins violates their confidence in me. When sharing my own sins and struggles, I must be careful not to implicate my family in any way.

Is this relevant in God's Kingdom? I must gauge the importance of the information I'm sharing in light of eternity.

Will this encourage and help others in their walk with the Lord?  I must remember that even in social media, I am called to disciple and encourage others.

I have lovely group of Facebook friends  - women serious about the Lord, but not always so serious. Our bond in Christ has been strengthened by discussions on theology as well as our mutual affections for Jane Austen and OPI nail polish. I have close relationships with other women I've only met online, forged through blog comments, emails, and prayer.  I have learned much, grown deeper in the Lord, and laughed til I cried. I am incredibly thankful that God has enriched my life through social media.

I want my online presence to reflect that truth.


Kim said...

I really like this.

Diana Lovegrove said...

Melissa, this series on Living Quietly is inspired. Your observations have caused me to wince because of their truth...and the questions you pose are excellent. I remember deleting one of my blog posts after hitting the publish button, for fear that I had infringed on family privacy.

You have caused me to consider what living quietly means, both online and otherwise, and for that I am so grateful. And I can see that I often allow so many other voices to clamour in ahead of His, and I certainly don't want to be guilty of doing that in any one else's life either.

Thank you ♥

Becky said...

Amen to this, sister.

Love you!

Lisa Spence said...

Amen, friend! I am thankful to be one of those online friends. :)

Anonymous said...

So sweet Melissa. With all the waffling I've done re my social media involvment I truly believe the positive far outweighs the negative. We all have people in our communities we're involved with. But our Christian friends scattered about are ever bit as much a part of our Forever Family and I'm happy for the encouragement - even if it is from afar. (Thinking about the fact that much of Paul's fellowship and ministry was done by letter from a distance). God bless you.