And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:5
I’m just going to come out and say it…
We judge the effectiveness or sincerity of one’s sharing of the gospel if it doesn’t fit our idea of perfection. There.
People do use things as substitutes sometimes, but there are many times that we look at others and judge them instead of taking a hard look at ourselves. We assume they can’t possibly be for real if they aren’t doing it the way it’s always been done. We venture to guess and assess. We sift and sort and decide: Who is sharing Jesus the right way? (You know…the perfect way).
And in doing that, we are judging the validity of the sharing of Jesus based upon that ministry or that person, rather than GOD Himself. God and His work through others.
Take blogging, for instance. Any of you who share about Jesus through a blog or social media will know what I am talking about here, I have no doubt. Blogging about Jesus ~ It’s seen in Christian circles as “less than” somehow. It is seen as a substitute for the “real thing.”
And that is because sometimes it IS.
But sometimes it’s NOT.
Perfection. Sheesh. Is there really such a thing, friends?
We judge. As people who struggle with sin and pointing fingers at anyone besides ourselves ~ we judge.
But only God knows the true heart of a person. And God leads that person to share the way that He leads them.
He speaks to that person’s heart.
I have, of late, seen a lot of judgement cast toward others who like to share Jesus through social media. It seems to be assumed that they are hiding behind their blog, their email, their facebook page, rather than connecting with others for real. I’m sick of it.
Again, sometimes that is true. Many people hide behind their “ministry” and struggle with turning their intentions, motivations and whole hearts over to Jesus each and every day.
Many struggle with seeing it as their ministry, instead of His.
This girl is all-too-aware of that. There are times that I step away from the blog on purpose because I can feel it grasping hold of me too tightly. That’s when it’s time to put it back into place. That’s the time that He whispers to me and tells me to remember where my treasure really is.
But sharing Jesus through social media doesn’t always mean something less than sharing face-to-face. I don’t believe it is that clear-cut all the time. Sometimes it’s nothing more than another place where the lost are searching ~ a place that the Lord has urged some of us to seek out some kind of connection and way to share Him with those who might be found there. Searching.
- Some people are sick and cannot go to church.
- Some are stuck somewhere, without the means to get around.
- Some are indeed downtrodden, and not sure when they wish to venture out amongst people again after being hurt very, very badly.
- And some are indeed hiding ~ waiting to be found.
They are watching. They are checking. They are craving connection, even if it’s not a perfect one.
I’ve spent many a night doubting and questioning and praying whether or not blogging and sharing my heart about Jesus on social media is something that is worthy of my Savior. I’ve questioned it ~ wondered about it ~ and yes, I’ve seen the holes in it, friends.
But I’ve also seen the glory it can bring to Jesus. I’ve seen more connection and heart sharing and openness here than I have anywhere else. Some may say it’s because it’s easier for people to speak freely when there is a computer screen between them and another person. That may be true. But at least they are talking. At least they are wondering.
It’s a step.
You may think that is sad ~ that our world is such a place as this. But sad or not, it’s good that we can reach one another.
It’s not perfect. Nothing is fully worthy of Him. Nothing that I do.
It’s about what HE does with it.
And aside from the way that I share Jesus with others on Social Media ~ aside from proclaiming His light and love and truth and divinity in the places where we are somewhat disconnected or in the places that are seen as substitutes for the “real thing” ~ in my physical life, I find the disconnect is still there too. (Did she just say that?)
It’s not perfect either, friends!
- If I scream from a pulpit or in front of a group of people who are gathered together in one physical place, it is seen as a worthy ministry. It’s seen as a greater connection than writing about my Savior from deep heart places.
- If I serve at the church or go down to the soup kitchen and help those who are less fortunate than myself, it is seen as more effective and more caring somehow than reaching out to a lonely friend through an email.
- If I meet with someone one-on-one and hear their heart hurts and pray with them, it is seen as “better than” touching a lonely heart who can’t meet me in person, but IS able to check their facebook newsfeed today.
I’m all for the real thing, friends. But I don’t believe that sharing with others on social media is always fake and quite frankly, we like to blanket it that way because of some (a lot) of the stuff that is.
God can and does do mighty things through that which seems “less than.”
Every. Single. Day.
Yes, I have work to do friends. Always.
I have work to do in how I connect with others when I meet with them in person. I have allowed my illness to cause a roadblock to take up space. I have done it and I am aware of it. I wish to get better about it.
I want to be more engaged and more connected in all the spaces ~ the physical ones and the ones that seem….less than.
I want to do better, but I operate under no illusions that better is not perfect.
None of it is perfect.
It seems like if we can’t do it right or better, we tend to throw up our hands. We either do that, or we simply criticize that which is “bad” or “less than” in what we ARE doing. Or worse yet ~ we just do nothing at all if we can’t go ALL THE WAY.
I’m done with that.
It’s not either/or.
It’s every big or small moment that presents itself in which I am to share Jesus Christ with others.
It’s that person in need of a hug at work, or the one who seems disgruntled or sad in their FB status update today. What about the person who lives far away who I haven’t emailed in some time, or that one on the street corner who is holding up a sign.
It is ALL.
I will continue reaching out in the places where the Lord leads me to do so ~ I will continue to use the gifts He has given me as well as my weaknesses (yep, those!) to connect with others in the places that are seen as fake connection avenues to travel down.
I will travel those roads with Him.
Those are the places that I think Jesus would go.
But they aren’t the ONLY places.
- Friends, the person stuck in the retirement home or soup kitchen matters.
- The person on the other end of the planet who can’t go to church, but who CAN check a blog or facebook account (sometimes in secret) matters.
- The person at church who needs a hug, but is busy speaking to someone else when you see them matters. They may go home later and check social media or read a few blogs to enhance their sense of connection to other believers ~ to Jesus.
- The people in our homes need us to be engaged with them. They matter.
- The family members who have conflicting schedules and aren’t home when you are might check facebook or email or messages and feel that’s a way they can connect with us from afar. They matter.
Something of Jesus is better than nothing of Jesus as long as the heart is where it should be and it’s not something that acts as a counterfeit of Him, friends.
That’s how seeds grow.
We are only the planters sometimes.
So, you guessed it. One of the things I wish to do in this new year is work on the connection with others ALL the way around.
I wish to connect in deeper ways with a few, just as Jesus did.
Deeper with those in my physical realm.
Deeper with those in the seemingly virtual realm.
Deeper, but still not perfect.
That will not happen for this girl until she goes home to live with the Lord for eternity.
So yes ~ I will leave the perfecting of His truth and love up to Him. He’s the only One who does it ALL perfectly anyway.
Do you also wish to do better? Do you know that in Him and through Him you shall?
Then join me, dear friends. Join me in turning over all that is less than in us to the One and the Only who is truly perfect.
In that, we can fix our eyes upon Him ~ the One who makes beauty out of ashes. The One who works wonders through our inadequacies.
The Perfecting and Utterly Perfect One.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2