One of your good friend from high school just announced her engagement on Facebook. So, why don’t you feel happy for her? According to some recent research, it turns out that pouring over friends’ vacation photos, cute kid stories, gushing status updates, and all kinds of other successes is making people miserable.
In the study when asked how they felt while navigating the social networking platform, more than a third of the people reported negative feelings. However, it had nothing to do with Facebook’s advertisements or the constantly changing privacy policies…no, the source of most of the negativity was jealousy.
Does God have anything to say about Facebook? Well, sort of. He says you should be happy with those who are happy…and cry with those who are crying. That’s the opposite of the green-eyed monster. It’s being supportive. But, I’ve got to tell you: It’s not always easy. It’s a process. For me, it seems to be a work in progress.
Nothing good comes from jealousy. It can grow and ruin things in its path. Consider what God says…maybe try it. Perhaps, you can find contentment in who you are and what you have. Now that’s a peace worth pursuing.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12
How do you know when your friends are pregnant? Facebook! “We’re having a baby!” The concern for that child starts early and we can usually follow it on facebook. First, the ultrasound pictures. Boy or girl? Does everything look all right? Then, the post: “Felt the baby kick for the first time today!” Even before we see our children we’re involved with them. We begin considering what we’ll be able to do to help them grow and thrive and develop. We already love them and we haven’t even met them yet!
That’s Jesus. He came to earth to seek you out. He was thinking about you before you knew it. It’s sort of like when you were still an “ultrasound” picture, he already loved you. That’s not so hard to believe, considering the way you love your own children before you officially meet them. He’s a good parent; he wants to help you to grow and to thrive and to develop. He’s always thinking about what’s best for you.
What if Jesus had a facebook page. And the ultrasound picture of your life was proudly displayed there. And, he posted about how he loves you as he watches you develop into a wonderful person. How would that make you feel? Loved?
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son…. 1 John 4
There’s a new obstacle in relationships today (yeah, as if relationships aren’t problematic enough already!). Many couples are discovering they have to sort out what they can say about each other online. In a recent article I read the author interviewed a college student who got upset because her boyfriend who she lives with posted a picture of her on facebook wearing a mud mask with her eyes closed and mouth open. Yikes! Dude! What were you thinking?!! She discovered it online and couldn’t remove it. By the time she got him to take it down, it was in her newsfeed and people were posting things like: “What is this? It is hilarious!” He was busted! You can’t totally control what others post about you.
God did control what was written in the Bible. That’s why it is the authentic word of God. How did he do that? When people say the Bible is “inspired,” they are referring to the fact that God influenced the human authors in such a way they wrote the very words of God. The word “inspiration” simply means “God-breathed.” He used men with distinctive personalities and writing styles to appeal to all the different people who would be reading the Bible. That’s incredible, isn’t it! But that’s what makes the Bible unique among all other books.
All Scripture is inspired by God. 2 Timothy 3
If you pick up a Bible to read…you are reading about God, written by God. You can believe what you’re reading.
Things in the computer and online world change with blazing speed! Desktop, laptop, hand-held devices…what’s next? Who knows? Yes, how we use the internet changes quickly and often. A recent article I read said teens are beginning to leave Facebook and use other social media because Facebook is their parents’ thing. Could Facebook go the way of MySpace? And we already have Twitter and Tumblr waiting in the wings. I guarantee somewhere in the world right this minute someone is working on some huge change in the way we deal with computers and the internet! And, it’ll be here soon!
Life can be like that. Changing quickly, moving at the speed of light. Do you ever feel like life is a raging river and you just fell in? You’re being tossed head over heels. And you can’t get back to solid ground. You reach out but all you get is a handful of water. Any minute you feel like you will drown.
Here’s some good news. There is some solid ground. Jesus. He doesn’t change. He is constant, steady. He’s unswerving and reliable. His waters are not raging, his are the calm waters of a lake…smooth…glassy…still.
(Jesus speaking) “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” Matthew 7
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15
If you look on anyone’s facebook page, you find one or more self-portraits. You know, the ones with your mouth and your eyes wide open. Yes! That one! Why do you take those pictures? To save a special moment in time? To show yourself how important you are? Or, is it simpler. You just need to make yourself laugh; you just need to be silly sometimes, have fun. Lighten up your world. When you capture a really crazy moment, not only do you laugh, but you lighten up the world of all your friends, too!
Joy that overflows! Wow! That’s the kind of life Jesus wants for you. He doesn’t want you to be miserable, to have troubles. He wants you to be filled with joy! Joy allows you to take delight in your circumstances. It allows you to feel authentic happiness. Only those who truly know you can fully appreciate the self-portraits you post. Jesus has snapshots in his mind of your fun times. Jesus knows you.
Get your camera out today and take a picture of yourself and post it on facebook! Haha! You just brightened a friend’s day! Now, with your mind’s camera take a picture of your life. Post that one on Jesus’ facebook page.