How Close are You Really?
In our world of social media and the reality that nearly all of us has some form of public persona, we must make a decision of how we respond to this pressure.
It is easy to look at everyone else's vacations, meals, moments filled with laughter in all their posts, pictures, and shares; and come to two assumptions. One, our life is not as grand as everyone else's, and two, we should portray a picture of our life that seems far more appealing than it actually is.
This social reality is truly a new one. Although twenty years ago, we all some degree of public perception to consider, it was nothing compared to what is normative today. People have access to moment by moment updates of your life, and at least in some part, people expect you to have some form of up to date social media presence.
I will not spend time here making an argument for or against social media, I simply make this point, to emphasize a growing challenge we face, more specifically for this conversation, a growing challenge people in the church face.
The Bible is filled with passages that talk about the importance of living in deep and real community with others. One of my favorite passages about this is, Hebrews 10:24,25 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
We are supposed to be intentional about how we can encourage each other. We need to practice ways to love others, and find opportunities to be good to others. We need to be careful and not forget to spend meaningful time together, even though its easy to do. Instead, we need to encourage each other often.
So the real question is, how are we balancing our efforts in presenting a public persona and the more important need to develop and build deeper relationships? Are we being intentional with how we encourage others? Are we building close relationships? Are we being creative and consistent in stirring our friends toward love and good deeds?
I encourage you to consider, how faithful are you being in these real relationships, how close are you really to anyone? Are you leaning hard into the perception people have of you, or are you stirring others, and allowing them to stir you?
I would encourage you, that if as you reflect, you aren't happy with what you see, consider taking some steps today to change it.