Facebook is an amazing thing. We can share family photos and news, read the latest Internet conspiracy, reconnect with high school buddies, watch videos of goofy stuff, or check out new inventions. It’s become such a part of the culture it’s hard to remember how we kept up with each other before Facebook came along.
But, it has also helped me understand something about myself that I don’t like very much.
If I’m totally honest, my “View of the Day” isn’t always done with the humility I want you to believe. It goes something like this:
View of the Day — a picture in a studio with a mic and music stand with some great musicians in the background — and then, I go on with something that sounds really humble: I’m so blessed – I love my job.
But, what my flesh is really saying is: Look at me and be jealous. I’m so awesome that I get to do this. The rest of you serfs enjoy your day.
Sometimes it gets worse than that. I’ll write a paragraph about the privilege I had to visit this person who is in rehab or the conference where I was speaking and giving God thanks about how He allowed me to be such a blessing to so many. But, inside I’m really hoping that a fair number of you (100 is the minimum) will “like” my post and that at least a dozen of you will comment about how awesome it was to hear me at the conference.
And the most sinister of all is when I write a tribute paragraph to a person I share life with (as if I never see the person) and post it for the world – It would be much more meaningful if I would occasionally just say a few of those things to my parent, wife, or child. But that would cause me to miss out on all the “likes” and comments about what an awesome son, husband, and father I am. Busted again.
Now, here’s one disclaimer: this is my issue. Others may do a “View of the Day” or “I Love My Wife,” without even a hint of pride. I’m calling this out in myself. Make your own assessment of how you use social media. It would be just another form of pride if I assumed this was anyone else’s issue.
This tool and others like it can be wonderful ways to connect with people. But, sometimes they become just another way to subtly fish for approval from friends and family.
So, here’s what I’m doing.
Step 1 – I’ve checked myself into Facebook Rehab.
Step 2 – Confess. (just did that)
Step 3 – Avoid any posts that start with “I’m so blessed” or “What a privilege.”
One of my favorite Pastors I worked with years ago, Tommy Vinson, had a saying I’ve never forgotten that comes to mind, “My flesh is as incorrigible today as it was the day I became a Christian.” John the Baptist wrestled with that same thought when he recounted, “What a wretched man that I am,” and added, ”He must increase and I must decrease.”
I wonder if John would have put that on Facebook.
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.