Last week we reflected on how God's Word applies to the current challenges of social networking, specifically "Facebook & Faithfulness." Asking questions about how we use this new power stirs up strong feelings from those on both sides of the "share" button. The internet gives the common guy or gal potential to reach around the globe with ideas and opinions. I think that's the word that resonates with me when I think of social networking: "potential"
We're trying to figure out how to respond when we read comments about personal relationships, marriages, divorces, friendships, families, purchases, church life, entertainment choices, lifestyle habits, humanitarian needs, and conflicts. Suddenly we're called on to make decisions about what we read from people we know. We feel a sense of responsibility to respond well. I once heard it said that, "Silence is agreement," so we feel that doing nothing and saying nothing is akin to approving of what we read. But is Facebook the best place to confront sin or declare our personal convictions? When we become aware of indiscretions made public through a social network, are we accountable to respond? Is it ok to zip off a scolding "on a virtual wall" and feel we've done "what Jesus would do?"
Last week we tried to catch the "glowing tail end" ;) of the synchronized lightning bug display in Elkmont, Smoky Mountains. We've seen it before, and it's truly remarkable. Go here and here to see just a suggestion of how amazing this natural phenomenon is. Imagine the impact of a forest of fireflies all shining their lights, so darkness is penetrated by the collective glow. When they all use their potential to shine light together, they change a pervasive darkness into a bright wonderland where all is exposed. Unfortunately, our family missed this year's show. The "window" of opportunity closed, and the lightning bugs died. The forest was dark without the filling of the many individual lights.
Christians all have a light to shine, too. Matt. 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Potential? Yes. Potential to shine ... even on Facebook, around the globe, in an awesome display of light that penetrates darkness and causes the world to wonder.
How are you handling darkness you may encounter on social networks and the internet?