Who Is Watching Your Profile?
Blogger and Christian mother Brie Gowen recently wrote an article on FaithIt about an experience with her Facebook profile that opened her eyes to the reality that our actions online and offline are being watched even when we don’t think this is happening.
In a Facebook group she is a member of another woman who was angry at her job decided to take that anger and vent out all of her frustrations into a post in the group. According to Gowen, this woman called out her coworkers by using racial slurs and “a slang name that pointed out his sexual preferences.” Several commenters began to call out her words as unkind, but a growing trend in the comments was for people to point out a particular aspect of this woman’s life.
“I noticed she has Christian quotes all over her profile,” someone commented. Causing other people to reply that they were not surprised given her words in the post she had written.
“And that was when my heart sank,” wrote Gowen. “A self-proclaimed follower of Jesus, acting very un-Christlike, and it put a nail in the coffin of the assumption that all Christians are self-righteous, cruel, and demeaning individuals. You see, on the whole, we are not, but it’s always the bad apples that ruin a barrel. It’s always the negative connotations that stick. You could line up 100 Christians with 99 of them responding in love, but it would be the one hateful person’s actions that everyone remembered.”
Through this woman’s unfortunate actions, Gowen realized that all Christians are being constantly watched by non-believers who are waiting to find out just how serious you are about your faith in Jesus. Although it may not seem fair for a Christ follower who is like everyone else and will make mistakes, the fact is that we are expected to always live our lives differently and not stumble into sin like everyone else.
“The Royal Family is expected to dress and walk a certain way when seen in public, and much the same children of the King are expected to carry themselves with a sense of royalty and kinship to the Father,” Gowen writes. “If you are a follower of Jesus it’s your responsibility and heritage to reflect well the family name. Your inheritance into the Kingdom of God doesn’t require your perfection, but it does offer some great suggestions on how to carry yourself.”
In the Bible 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Paul writes what is required from a Christ-follower according to the standards of our heavenly home:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
How refreshing to know that perfection is not required of us to live our lives as Christians! However, it cannot be denied that loving others is the mark of a true Christ-follower. While it is inevitable that we will stumble in our efforts to be perfect, it is very important that we live a life free from hate language and follow the example of Jesus.
During His time here on Earth He called us to love everyone who was different from us and to show them love, mercy, and grace. Doing anything contrary to the example of Christ will only lead to disappoint from the people who are watching how you respond to others.
“You can get angry, emotional, and even feel justified in your righteous indignation, but then you need to pause. You need to consider what Jesus would do, what He would say, and how He would proceed,” Gowen shared in her article. “You need to hold your tongue, watch your actions, and run it all through a filter of love.”
Yes, this is a lot of pressure and a huge responsibility – but remember that Jesus is in the business of changing hearts, so let’s make sure to show the world that He has already gotten to work changing our own hearts. Praying that you would continue to stop and pause on what Jesus would do so that your life can be a reflection of the grace and mercy of our incredibly loving Lord.