Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Slaying the Social Media Giant

Confession: When I was in school we did not have computers in our classrooms, there was no internet, and people had pen pals rather than Facebook friends. 
Yes, there are dinosaurs like me still roaming the earth. 
But nowadays, thanks to the World Wide Web, social media provides us with the easiest means of communication in world history. It offers us an invaluable vehicle for interaction and relationship, and yet it can also set the stage for the quicksand of comparison. Having our news feeds filled with the successes of others, their exciting opportunities and adventures, their photographs of beautiful homes, clothes, or children on display while we sit on the couch in our PJ’s with a sink full of dirty dishes as our children misbehave...suddenly social media has flung wide open the window for comparison to slink it’s way in. Comparison breeds a spirit of inadequacy, and inadequacy births the sin of self deprecation. These three amigos are poison. Silently, they can turn us toxic before we even know it.  
Comparison, inadequacy, and self deprecation date back light years before social media. While these ancient vices have a broader platform than ever before, they are just as septic as they were in Biblical times. 
Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. 
When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.
For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army. 1 Samuel 17:8, 11, 16
For some, social media has become the modern day Goliath. Our news feeds may resemble this belittling giant whose words touch that unspoken place where our self doubts and fears are locked away, and we log out feeling small and incapable rather than connected and informed. 
Goliath assaulted the Israelites with his fiery words as he came forward twice a day for 40 days, shouting his criticism and proclaiming the impotency of Israel. Sadly, Israel merely stood by each day and listened. Worse. They believed. 
Eighty times over the course of forty days, Goliath declared Israel unfit and unworthy. And with that, these mighty men forgot who they were, forgot that they were "the armies of the living God" dressed in armor and trained to fight. They forgot the mission and the anointing of God Almighty. Because they forgot, they lined up every day in their battle formation and in their armor...only to NOT declare battle on this roaring giant. No swords or weapons were needed. Goliath defeated these men merely with his words. 
At first they listened to what he said. Then they believed. Eventually they became. 
Why is it so easy to hear and believe whispers of inadequacy, rather than see ourselves as trained and fully armed members of the army of the Living God who is able to do all things by the power of Jesus Christ through us, in us, and around us? Why do we just stand there, believing some bellowing giant rather than the words of our Father who loves us, who has equipped us and called us to do mighty works in His name? Believing we are less than who He created us to be is self-deprecation, and it is the opposite of God’s Truth. 
It is a lie. 
Do not let yourself be defined by the empty words of an angry giant shouting at you. Be defined by the words and promises of God. He has equipped you with unique talents, gifts, and skills. Whatever those are, they are for His glory and they are for such a time as this. Do not let social media become Goliath’s platform to speak comparison, inadequacy, and self deprecation into your life. 
Don’t just stand there, do something! Heavy weaponry and warfare aren’t required. Merely select your stones of Truth and Faith. Pick up your slingshot. 
And go slay that shouting Giant. 
David replied to Goliath, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. 
Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit Goliath in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone... 1 Samuel 17:45-46, 49-50
Written by Carrie Davis. For more of her work go to www.thatsathought.wordpress.com

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