Is there a limit to the amount of baby or animal posts from one individual on Facebook? According to Baratunde Thurston in a comical take on acceptable social media practices, it’s forty-seven. In this radio conversation we hear why certain people shouldn’t share on Facebook and even how we could avoid seeing their posts. What we don’t hear is why people post pictures of kittens and babies.
A New York Times marketing presentation breaks down research on the reasons why people share by using social media. Some people in the study share because they know that they will gain a better understanding of a subject if they share it. Others share to let people know about who they are and what’s important to them. The highest overall percentage in the study was that 94% of the participants surveyed carefully consider how the information they share will be useful to the recipient.
As much as you might not agree with that last bit of information – it’s hard to believe that someone carefully considers how an lolcat would be useful to those who see it – it’s difficult to argue with the idea that we do share because we want to impact those with whom we share. I want to take this a step further – I would argue that we all want to help others with what we share. When we share a picture of our new kitten, we want to help others know what’s going on in our lives and what’s important to us. As change takes place in our lives, we want to communicate that with others, but we also desire to change others with some of what we post online. We desire that what we are passionate about could change the lives of those who are within our digital reach.
Is God changing your life?
A few months before our first child was born, many friends told me that having a child would change my life. No one really attempted to quantify how my life would be changed because, really, it’s incomprehensible.
I don’t post a whole lot on Facebook, but you could figure out by looking at my wall (timeline – whatever they call it now) that having a daughter has changed my life. With that said, I’ve certainly posted more pictures of my daughter than I have of how God is continually changing me through the Holy Spirit. Why is that? Well, it’s hard to quantify. Some days it hits me that I am more compassionate toward those in need than I was a year ago – how do I post that? Some days I realize that I more readily engage someone who is grieving and needs God’s comfort and peace – how do I post that?
“But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.”
Jeremiah knew that he couldn’t contain the words that God gave him. His attempts to quell the fire that God had set in his bones would be futile. Jeremiah had to share. Jeremiah’s struggle with sharing wasn’t due to lack of content – he was given the words to speak (the Word) from God. Jeremiah’s struggle was that the words he was given to speak set him apart from his community. The verse above is part of a longer lament of the pain Jeremiah had to suffer for sharing God’s Word. Yet, even after being beaten and put in stocks, he still shared God’s Word. Jeremiah’s road wasn’t an easy one, but he remained compelled by the fire that burned inside of him – the Holy Spirit Himself.
A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to see Andrew Bird in concert with my best friend and his wife. The experience was amazing. I think I wore the same stupid grin that appeared on my face when he first stepped out on stage throughout the entire show.
When the concert ended I had this overwhelming urge to share what I had just experienced with anyone and everyone around me. The next couple of days after the concert I told people how amazing the concert was. I talked about it to my wife, people at the church office, baristas at coffee shops – everyone needed to know how incredible this concert was. I was a witness to something amazing, and I wanted to share.
It’s so much easier to share when we’ve experienced something new that has changed us for the good. God is doing a new thing everyday in you.
Thus says the Lord,
Who makes a way through the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,
Who brings forth the chariot and the horse,
The army and the mighty man
(They will lie down together and not rise again;
They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick):
“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
“The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
“The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise.”
God is daily growing you up into the head, that is Christ. How can you post that? Well, a good start is looking how you are not the same. If God is living in you, you are different today than you were yesterday. Each day when we repent of the sinful things we’ve done, God freely forgives us because of Christ. The cycle of repentance and forgiveness builds daily and lasting change in us. Take some time to reflect on how God is doing something so amazing in your life, you have no other choice but to share. Post it.