Why I Think Jesus Would Be On Facebook

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Jesus didn't say, "Connect with me on my terms." Instead His life expressed, "Wherever you are, I will come to you." Because that's what love does. #CoffeeForYourHeart http://HolleyGerth.com

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I’m a bit of a research junkie when it comes to what helps women thrive. And after reading what seems like hundreds of books and studies, this much has become clear: relationships are crucial to our well-being. We truly are made for “one another” lives.

Over the last few years, I’ve felt a twinge of guilt here and there that so much of my community comes from online sources. Through blogs and social media I’ve met true heart sisters, made lasting friendships and found support for my work as a writer. But in the back of my mind I’ve wondered, “Is this really good for me?” And I’ve even had a few people in my life make comments about how online connections aren’t as meaningful as “real” relationships.

In fact, a group of researchers set out to prove that’s true. They did a study on social media habits expecting to find that the more someone cultivated virtual connections the more they would be negatively affected. It turns out the opposite is true. Women who are high-volume social media users actually have less stress, feel more connected to others and have better well-being overall.

Huh.

I’m typing this in a local coffee shop and the table of four ladies across from me just bowed their heads to pray. And suddenly, I understand–Jesus is the Word and the Spirit is virtual. That means what matters is not how we connect but instead WHO is connecting us. We serve a God who brings us together in deeper ways than what can be defined for geography or proximity. He forms bonds between our hearts and souls that transcend the factual details of our lives. And I can testify firsthand that can happen virtually or face-to-face.

Maybe it’s time to stop trying to decide if one way of connecting is better than another. And instead just focusing on making those happen however we can. There will be seasons of our lives where our relationships may get a lot of in-person, up-close time. And there will be others when our computer screen or smartphone may serve as a door to a room full of the people we truly love. In today’s world, it’s even more likely that we’ll experience a mixture of both.

So let’s chat on phones. And click on computers. And share our hearts over coffee. Whatever it takes to find and keep community. 

If Jesus were on earth today I think He would be on Facebook. Why? Because that’s where people are. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. If someone prayerfully and intentionally chooses not to be on social media, I respect that choice. What breaks my heart is when I see folks stand back and criticize those of us who are called to the online space. Please don’t do that: We are like missionaries in a foreign culture. Pray for us like you would someone who is going to Africa even if you know you’re not called to go.

Jesus clearly showed us we’re to do whatever it takes to reach the people we care about–even if it means stepping outside our comfort zones. He didn’t say, “Connect with me on my terms.” He said, “Wherever you are, I will come to you.”

The table of women across from me who prayed earlier just started talking about using Facebook. {Seriously–I can’t make up this timing.} A couple of them are on there and some of the others aren’t. But they all agree on this: the only reason worth doing it is relationships. To say it another way: love. Isn’t that the only worthwhile reason for doing anything? 

We have been sought out by the God of love. And now it’s our turn. Who is God asking you to love today and where can you find them? Your answer to that question is your mission field.

Do whatever it takes to be there.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

 

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I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

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