Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Clearly

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Blogging, Websites, Video chat...and the list goes on.

Social networking has become a part of our daily lives. Our lives are shared online and we "know" more about each other and are more "connected" than ever before. But do we really know each other? Sometimes it scares me. Who am I really? Who am I portraying? How am I perceived?

These are are the questions that have been on my mind lately. If my goal and my desire is to reflect Christ, I cannot separate my faith from my "networking." It is so easy to create this wonderful me, when in reality I am not perfect. I mess up. I struggle. Not that I do this intentionally; it's just something that I've been made more aware of lately.

Is the cross central to the "me" online?

I have to admit that I like to be liked, admired and respected by those around me. Accolade is appealing. But is that what I should be seeking, unintentionally or otherwise? I'm afraid not.

I love the contrast in Philippians drawn from Paul's life and the life of Christ. In chapter 3, Paul describes all his accomplishments, how he "climbed the ladder" per se and achieved a high status with those around him. You could say he was the man. I'm sure the younger Jewish boys thought, "I'd love to be like Saul!" (His name was Saul at that time.) It wasn't that they were bad things. I mean, he had much of the scripture memorized, he followed the law and he was a very religious person. But after he came to Christ, he said it was all loss? Yeah, all of it was loss to dung.

In the previous chapter, he shows how Christ did just the opposite of climbing up.

"Have this mind among yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who though He was in the form of God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11)
Christ lowered Himself through every step of life. He wasn't someone you wanted your kids to aspire to be like. For example, take the time He washed the disciples feet at the last supper. Washing someone else's dirty feet was considered one of the most extremely demeaning tasks that anyone could perform. It was reserved for slaves. No wonder Peter protested so much! Jesus did that! He was constantly taking the lesser place, going lower and lower until he died the most shameful death anyone could imagine. It was total humiliation.

And this is my Master, my role model.

Do I look like Him, or more like Paul when he was climbing the religious ladder?

All I can say is that I am so thankful for God's grace. It disgusts me to think of how full of myself I am sometimes...a lot of times. I am so glad I have a merciful and patient Savior that doesn't give up on teaching me humility! I hope that He may be seen, in every aspect of my life - including online, more clearly.

In a world of self-promotion
With everything in the public eye
We put our best face forward
But in reality, who am I?

I can create a fine persona
Of who I really want to be
But in the darkness of the night
I know what truly lies in me

Show me how desperately I need You
LORD, expose me completely
Let me see what I really am
So that I may see you more clearly
In Your light we see light
So shine on all the parts of me
You are the only One who is worthy
So in me, may You be seen more clearly

There is nothing good in me
So write Your words upon my heart
How easily my mind wanders
So fill up my every thought

My days are meaningless
Without Your purpose driving me
I don’t know what step to take
Without Your Spirit to help me see

Show me how desperately I need You
LORD, expose me completely
Let me see what I really am
So that I may see you more clearly
In Your light we see light
So shine on all the parts of me
You are the only One who is worthy
So in me, may You be seen more clearly


Stacy Hill said...

I had these same thoughts tonight at church. We had the Lord's Supper tonight and I remembered how much Jesus took on for me, how much he suffered and went through for someone like me. I was overwhelmed by the thought and my prayer is that I stop worrying about "me" and what people think of "me" and start worrying about how Jesus sees me and how others see Him in me. It is a constant battle for me because I am a people pleaser and I worry so much about what people will think about me, when in reality it only matters how Christ shines in me and how He wants me to live out my life here for Him. Thanks for this post, it was exactly what I needed to read tonight.

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post! I love it! :]


Megan said...

I love your thought provoking posts..I think you do a lovely job of being en example of christ and not separating yourself from you beliefs purely for the sake of the social networking system.

and on another note..

your comment on my post about not having lady time in heaven literally made me laugh OUT LOUD.

Leanna said...

Hey, just wanted to say thank you for sharing the story of how you met your husband under the "our story" tab. I love what you said about only wanting to fall in love once... it's such an encouragement to me to see someone who used to be just like me (never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, etc) that trusted in God and now is happily married. My best friend (who isn't a Christian) goes through boyfriends very quickly... I used to be so jealous of all the attention she got from guys, but as we've gotten older (and the break-ups have become more emotionally straining for her), I have been realizing how lucky I am that God has protected me from that kind of stress.
So anyways, thanks again for sharing!

samarah said...

I love your header! you are beautiful :)

much love,

Emma said...

love this post - and thankful for His grace and mercy when the world becomes our main view. love your blog - following now and very excited about it! i was also super excited that you said you like needtobreathe - they are so so great, and Phil Wickams songs are so amazing too, gah, love them. thanks for the follow too, by the way! :)


Jennifer said...

@Stacy: That is so neat! I am such a people pleaser too. I put way too much stock in what others think and not enough in what God thinks SO MANY TIMES!

@Kinsey: Thanks girl!

@Megan: Haha! That's just what I thought of when I read your post. Oh, happy day that will be!

@Leanna: I was totally in your same boat for a LONG time. I expected to be single for a long time, but God is so faithful. I am blessed beyond measure wiht my husband!

Thanks Samarah!

@Emma: I'm excited too Emma! And seriously, Needtobreathe is the best EVER. They're my hubs got me hooked a few years ago when we were dating.:)

Isabella Kiss said...

so good. so, so, so good. great post. good job!

Cassandra said...

Wow. You said it perfectly! You are definately not alone in this. I completely agree! I hope people see Christ in me.. The real me.. It's hard not to paint a pretty picture through "social networking" I pray that Jesus can be seen mire clearly through me. Awesome post!


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