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 him...like 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.