Facebook exists because of our search and hunger for affirmation.
- We want to be loved.
- We want to be liked.
- We want to be talked about.
The "Like" button fuels our desire to be affirmed. If we don't get 17 "Likes," we feel inadequate. If people don't comment on our status, we feel insignificant. There is an obsession to constantly check our page for positive comments and posts. The danger here is that we may look to others for approval and worth.
Seeking approval from others is empty and temporary. Psalm 139:18 says God's thoughts for us outnumber the grains of sand.
Our identity comes from Jesus, not from what others say about us on Facebook. A relationship with Jesus brings significance and an extraordinary life.
I asked hundreds of students how to stay safe on Facebook—overwhelmingly, they said "don't add creepy people or strangers."
They also said they loved staying connected to their friends daily, and at all hours.
A while back, I was in a downtown Los Angeles fast food restaurant where I saw a man eating out of the trashcan. He was drinking a half-full iced coffee and scraping scrambled eggs off a plate. The students I was with were too busy using their phones to check Facebook status updates to notice him. They were connecting to people everywhere, but were isolated from a child of God in front of them.
Connected but isolated.
We can be connected to others all over the country or world, but isolated from people in our neighborhoods, homes, and schools.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world with over 500 million people.
Let's use Facebook to bless others. That is our job as followers of Christ:
"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing" (1 Peter 3:9).
Ideas for posts:
- Post scriptures
- Lyrics to worship songs
- Encourage others
- Advocate Christ-centered causes
- Raise awareness for people and companies making a difference
What we choose to focus on becomes the dominant influence in our lives. More Jesus. Less Facebook.
Douglas Smith is lead pastor at St. Louis, Missouri, Trinity Church of the Nazarene after having served in several churches as youth pastor.
Holiness Today, Novembe/December 2010
Please note: This article was originally published in 2010. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.