In the wacked-out world of social media, a phenomenon has developed that until recently, had happened to everyone else. It has become so common that platforms like Twitter have a process where an account can be certified to protect against the “fake” accounts that can pop up overnight and take over someone’s identity.
In recent weeks, it has happened to me twice. Someone (or something) has taken over my name, pictures, and profile to create a social media account that was intended to look like it’s me – but it’s not me. It hasn’t really bothered me that much, at least so far. As soon as I became aware of them, I was able to quickly have them removed. A fake account can be a huge distraction to the real one and even misrepresent my belief. It’s important that I not tolerate one for very long. But, as I’ve thought about it, I’ve been reminded of another threat that is even more daunting and dangerous. It’s one that I’ve lived with for much longer than the internet has been around.
Fake Mike Harland existed way before Twitter. And, I wonder if you have a fake account from time to time too. It’s that personality that puts on a face of spirituality to sing, teach, or lead, all the while knowing that what is seen is not the whole story. The problem for anyone who stands on a platform – digital or otherwise – is that talent and skill can hide a great deal. Sometimes, God even chooses to honor His Word through a person like that, and the visible results can further imply that something real must be going on in the speaker. But we all know that’s not always true.
It seems to me that just like I keep a watch out for the fake accounts that can crop up on social media, I had better be even more diligent about watching out for this one. As a matter of fact, if everything is working like it should, my profile and personality shouldn’t matter at all because if what I’m doing is real, it won’t be about me anyway.
John, the forerunner of Jesus could have built a ton of followers on his fake account. But, he didn’t. He simply said, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
May God help me keep a check on the fake account and blow it up every time it surfaces. Maybe we all should. Here’s how –
Stay in the Word.
Make prayer a real priority.
Keep relationships authentic.
Fight for purity in mind and deed.
And, delete the fake account every time it shows up so that Jesus can be the only One that shines as we serve Him.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.