I’ve noticed a growing trend when I browse through my Facebook newsfeed. Yes, my friends’ children are still adorable, and love (or the longing for love) is still in the air, but there’s more than that filtering through my feed. Yep, college football is fabulous to most, and politics will always have its place on social media, but I’m talking about another thing that jumps out at me. And sadly I’m seeing it more frequently.
People are angry. Yes, that’s always been present. Folks have always been mad about something, but I’ve noticed frustrations seem to be growing. And the tendency to plaster them on Facebook is even more prevalent. What’s worse is the manner in which we’re spewing our venom!
Here’s what I mean. How many ambiguous status updates do you see on the daily? I’m talking about the bristling bundle of raw accusation that drills a hole in some nameless poor soul. Someone will be so flipping mad at another person that they feel justified to share that frustration with the entire world, but they’ll keep it vague just enough to make the rest of us raise an eyebrow.
Or perhaps it’s the continual complaining posts. The ‘woe is me, life isn’t fair, no one treats me right, my family is so mean to me that I’m going to keep griping about them on Facebook instead of spending my energy to possibly resolve this situation’ status updates.
How about the raging posts about the apparent lack of service someone received at a business? Have you ever noticed some folks can’t be satisfied? Like absolutely nothing is enough.
These seem to be the same people that lack empathy or the ability to walk one day in another’s shoes, or possibly try to see them as a person rather than a servant.
These seem to be the same people who feel entitled to consistently be catered to, or have their every whim delivered on a silver platter. I call these individuals “Burger King Peeps.” They want it their way, right away.
And while I’m in no way perfect, and I’m as guilty as the next of expecting things to happen a certain way, or my circumstances to align according to my desires, I do try to remember that we are all human. We all make mistakes, have off days, or fall short. I certainly can’t condemn someone for not meeting my expectations consistently.
I get mad too, in fact I get blazing angry at times, but my goal is not to allow it to consume me. And above all, as a Christian, I try to remember that the world is watching me. They say you shouldn’t care what other people think, but when it comes to representing God’s kingdom perhaps we should all care a little bit more.
If I consistently complain about my life on Facebook then what can be said about my grateful heart, that part of me that should be thankful for God’s blessings in my life? They’re there, you know? Even in the midst of a bad situation.
What does it say about me as a disciple of Christ if I throw angry, careless words at another? Even if I don’t say their name. What does that imply about the power of forgiveness, or even how God is capable of softening our hearts towards our enemies?
Don’t my quickly spouted words of rage endanger my witness? Do they not give my Father a bad name?
If I can’t speak in love then what is the point? If I can only manage to be mad what does that say about me?
John 13:35 (NLT)
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
So what do we need to see more of on Facebook? Perhaps love. Isn’t this how the world will know we are different?
They won’t rush to ask about Jesus on the trails of our angry rants. They won’t wonder what that special light is inside of us based on our complaints and unrealistic expectations of others. They will know Him when they see Him in us. They will understand His love more easily when it flows from our every word and action.
You can post scripture all you want on your timeline, but if it’s followed by angry accusations and raging complaints then it just doesn’t align. It’s not consistent, and those who need to see the solidity of Jesus most will not find it by being your “follower.”
It’s a hefty responsibility, that of being a Christian, but no one said it would be easy. But the Bible does tell us we will be rewarded in the end. When that time comes, and I stand before the Lord, I hope that I will not be ashamed of my behavior on this earth. I pray that the actions I display now can be pleasing to Him forever. I pray that how I represent Him publicly is a correct representation of His majesty.
My goal is to keep this in mind before I act, before I speak, and certainly before I hit the “post” button.
So, I ask, what does your Facebook status say about you?