Facebook – waste of time or spiritual tool?

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Facebook feed scrolls by.  A cute joke.  A funny picture.  A girl fight.  Political blustering.  An inspirational quote.  An abused dog.  Pregnancy pictures.  A lost child.  A poll.  A rant.  Cheering for a sports team.  Bashing a sports team.  Passive aggressive statuses.  A breakup announcement.  No matter how long you scroll, the feed never stops. 

Total waste of time?  It sure can be. 

Feeder of insecurities?  If you play it that way.

Juvenile?  Rude?  Cliched?  Melodramatic?  Harmless entertainment?  All very real possibilities. 

But there are other uses for it. 

Prayer Tool

You know that girl who posts, “This is the one, the love of my life!” twice a month and, “Bastard broke my heart – never again!” twice a month?  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone was watching and praying, rather than just watching and judging or gossiping?  Ditto for the girl whose selfies always feature generous bosom shots and “I just got laid” face, and the guy who posts jokes about bitches and hoes. 

New relationships?  Pray for them.  Breakups?  Pray for them.  Birth announcements?  Pray for them.

Twenty posts a week about how they, “Don’t care what anybody thinks,” thereby betraying how devastated they are that someone thinks badly of them?  Pray for them. 

Self-righteous blather?  Pray for them  Uninformed ranting?  Pray for them.  Religious heresy?  Pray for them.  Gross consumerism?  Pray for them.  Relentless bragging?  Pray for them.  Fake image-building?  Pray for them.  Straight up stupidity?  PRAY FOR THEM. 

Without Facebook, I can notice and pray for the people in my home, my coworkers, and strangers on the street.  That’s great!  With Facebook, hundreds of friends and their friends and their friends tell a lot about themselves every day, much of it not on purpose at all.  They provide messages that are short and relatively easy to read and interpret for prayer.  Why not use the tool?

Sharing Tool

While I can (and do) use my status to report on things like what I ate and other non-essentials, there is so much more available. 

I can share a bit of scripture that spoke to my heart – I can even add my own comments about what it means to me. 

I can share inspirational quotes that have changed my perspective or grown me. 

I can share links to articles and videos that instruct, inspire, and amuse in good ways.  I can introduce my friends to authors and speakers that they might not otherwise encounter. 

I can share stories and thoughts from my own journey.

I can share prayer concerns and celebrations. 

Relational Tool

I can have private conversations with friends.  Sure, it’s best to do that in person.  But I have friends spread across the country!  I can touch base quickly and easy.  I can watch the feed to see what is interesting them these days.  I can invite them to join a cause that matters to me. 

 

In the end, it is what we make it.  For a lot of people, it is a time suck.  For many, it is a waste of focus.  For some, it causes insecurities to run riot.  It is online, and one has to exercise discernment to not get sucked into the fakery of much of it.  It’s not for everyone. 

But used right, for some of us, it can be a useful tool. 

Those are my thoughts.  Care to share yours?

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Comments
  1. Cindy Maynard says:

    I agree! It is a huge field of prayer opportunities. It is a great way to spread the Word of God, to encourage others, to be told of needs, etc. I also know I can waste a lot of time scrolling. It’s a tool that requires some accountability.
    But all in all, if you can keep the unwholesomeness from the news feed, it is not bad at all.

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