When following the rules is the most important thing in our lives, we lose something important. We lose love. We lose relationship.
Genesis records an event that altered the heart of every human being. At the dawn of history, God created the first man and woman. Adam and Eve were not ashamed to be seen and known as they really were (genesis 2:25). They enjoyed God’s presence and the presence of each other. But that all changed when sin entered the world. Adam and Eve ran from the presence of God and hid because they were ashamed of their sin (genesis 3:8). One of the devastating effects of sin was a diminished ability to love and be loved.
But that is only the early part of our human drama. Happily, Scripture is the story of God’s loving pursuit of humanity. He works relentlessly to restore us to that place of perfect relationship with Him and each other. Rules can never do this for us. Only Jesus can. It was love that drove Him to die on the cross. He gives us the capacity to love as we are loved.
This restored love should not just mark our face-to-face interactions, it should seep into everything we say and do online. Choosing to love each other though our tweets, feeds, and posts will take work. It is easier to criticize those who disagree with us than it is to be gracious with them. It takes more effort to be humble and gentle than it does to be arrogant and aggressive. It takes more time, energy, and patience to engage someone in genuine conversation than it does to preach at them. Listening is harder than speaking. Genuine conversation is more difficult than delivering a lecture.
A quick look at our Twitter feeds and Facebook home pages will tell us how far we have to go. It may seem like an overwhelming task. And in our own strength it is. But what would happen if every one of us decided to actively and daily surrender our digital spaces to Christ? What if we applied Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 10:31 to our social media accounts? What if we committed everything that we eat, drink, post, or tweet to the glory of God?
Let’s ask ourselves one simple question before we forward, post, repost, comment, tweet, or retweet anything:
“Can I, with these words, graciously, respectfully, and lovingly represent Jesus Christ, in this space at this time?”
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, may we humbly and wisely reveal the love and grace of Jesus that builds bridges where walls once had been.