“If there wasn’t social media we would have to rely on our actions to express our beliefs”. I wrote that and then I immediately disagreed with myself.
If everyone was watching me, my actions would look a lot like disbelief in a god. A lot like selfishness and impatience. My actions would make me look weak, not powerful. Not the kind of powerful a god would be behind. I have more problems than many non-believers and more than anyone else in this world, I do not like myself. I do not like what I do. Many times I don’t even want to say I’m a Christian because I don’t believe, by my actions, I deserve that title. It’s a heavy weight to carry, one that I can’t even bare on a day to day basis. I have more struggles than I can manage and more failures than I can count. Since giving my life to Christ, my shortcomings and little white mistakes seem on the outside to be overwhelming.
The funny thing is though, I announce it to the world. On every social media page I quote Bible verses and give my approval to all the inspirational statuses through a like, or if I really agree I will go as far as to comment. “That’s what I believe”. “Yes, they understand”. I want people to know who I am and know what I stand for. But it only goes as far as that. As a shared article or a like. Those people don’t see me in my day to day life. They don’t know how I act when I’m tired and just want to sit down when my mom needs me, or how I talk without even thinking. They don’t see that side. If they did, if my 587 friends on Facebook did only see how I act, take away what they have been told (by me) what I believe, I think a lot of the time they wouldn’t want to call me a Christian either. Where is the proof?
But I think that’s just it. In front of the world I am nothing. I am weak. I am a failure. But I don’t think we were made to be on display in front of the world. I think someone watching me is a lot different than someone knowing me. I think relationships are meant to be 1 on 1, no 539 on 1. No one is meant to be spread so thin. So thin as to associate who they are with a status they post. Our creator made us to have personal relationships with the people around us. Personal relationships with the people purposefully placed in our lives. And in him we see what perfect relationship looks like. It looks a lot like understanding, acceptance, love and grace. When we have those things in relationship we see through the flaws. We see the goal.
When we have personal relationships we understand the depths of another’s failures. We see the heart behind it. We see the struggle, but we also see the conquerer, growing in the face of failure. Learning from the Lord and finding strength in him to keep pushing forward. To overcome. To be patient in the midst of pain and failure. To find clarity between truth and lies, good and evil. To persist in truth and love, even though we didn’t make it yesterday. See in relationship we can know the why behind the mistake. We can encourage and grow each other.
“Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. Let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us cheer each other up with words of hope. Let us do it all the more as you see the day coming when Christ will return” (Hebrews 10:24, 25 NIRV)
No, I don’t think if you saw me you would think I deserve a title. I don’t think you would think my actions live up to my Maker. And you would be right. But I think if you really knew me you would know why. You would know my brokenness. And you would know, even more, why I need a Savior. I don’t call myself a Christian because I live up to some unattainable lifestyle. I call myself a Christian because I am broken and I recognize that I need, desperately, to be saved. Saved from myself. By an overwhelming grace.
“Your grace abounds the deepest oceans. Your sovereign hand will be my guide.”