Most of us have gone through a “media fast” at some point in our lives. It’s that momentous occasion when one, usually under duress to a higher authority, turns off his iPod/iPhone/iPad/iHulu/iYoutube/iRecluse’s and focus on interacting with reality for a while. And it is amazing to discover (perhaps for the first time) what else goes on in your head when you don’t have Owl City and Disciple drowning you out 24/7. I am all for these fastings from the constant barrages of entertainment. My apartment has not seen a television during the whole 2.5 years I have lived there. A “big night” for my roommate and I involves an extra episode of M*A*S*H on a computer as we crochet, knit, embroider, or do other “old people” stuff. But recently God has shown me another way in which I have been guilty of allowing the entertainment of the world to warp my spiritual plumb line.
What I am referring to is the all-important Facebook status updates. You have all done it. Something happens to you, or you do or say something brilliant, and you think “that would make a great Facebook status!” I have actually caught myself just skipping the middle man and mentally expressing my emotions and thoughts in Facebook status-friendly form:
Tiffany is…so delighted that people in Colorado know how to parallel park.
Tiffany…just bought two cartons of soymilk for seventy-five cents! Sweet!
What is so bad about sharing your life with your Facebook world? Well, it isn’t so much who you ARE sharing the daily drivels of your life with, but who we ARE NOT sharing with. Instead of thanking God for the intelligence and aptitude of Colorado drivers, or for His providence at providing my daily sustenance at little cost, I turn these events into taglines for my own personal commercial. Instead of praying to God and asking for His continual blessings and guidance, I pray to Facebook for the blessings of “Likes” and “#Comments” – each one a puff of air into my already swollen ego.
Romans 12 admonishes us to present our bodies on the altar of sacrifice willing and with praise. And how do we do that? But serving the members of the Body of Christ humbly, remembering that we all belong to each other, and by giving honor to only those around us – never ourselves.
So, for the time being, I am fasting from Facebook status updates. It only brings glory to myself – not others, and certainly not to God. Some could argue for the posting of Bible verses in statuses. I guess I cannot argue against that, but personally, I find it nigh impossible for me to keep a pure heart when posting even those. The temptation is simply too strong to commend my own spiritual prowess for daring to ping the world with something so controversial as the objective Word of God and accordingly checking “evangelism” off my to-do list.