Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Social Media (12/01/11)
- TITLE: Deeper Connections
By Hiram Claudio
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In the first few chapters of Genesis, weíre provided an account of Godís creative genius. And when completed, He declared it was good. But the first time we have record of God calling something ďnot goodĒ is when He refers to us being alone (Genesis 2:18). We were created for relationships, and meaningful ones!
Yet, my experience is that in order for any relationship to have value, it must also be beneficial. It has to be good Ďforí you, not just feel good Ďtoí you. Sometimes, connections can occur way too easily. When this happens, weíre tempted to label them destiny. But such labels can be shallow. Itís okay to have relationships feel good but they also require work. The deeper one goes, the more work it will entail.
In the examples mentioned, these groups took time to learn each other and to understand the dynamic that was created when together. The longer a relationship has lasted, you can be sure the more challenges it has faced Ö and subsequently overcome. That is what concerns me as it relates to todayís world of social media.
Donít get me wrong. Iím not calling for a prohibition against online interaction. I too have developed friendships with people Iíve never met or spoken with. The means of our exchanges, to date, has been email, chat discussions, and wall posts. But in this, lives can be learned. Hopes can be communicated. Disappointments can be shared. This is all good Ö to a point. With these various online means of relating, we remove a major component in how relationships were designed to be created and grow. Observation!
Sorry for all those who hate the idea but we were meant to be watched. Sure, we were meant to communicate and express our inner thoughts to others. We were created to exchange deep feelings as a means of building relationships. But relationships donít just grow by the information we fed others. What others observe for themselves is vital. Itís no surprise that a major means by which the Christian faith (a relationship) is to be spread is through a process that requires others observing us (a.k.a. Ö being a witness)!
What can be a concern with only relating to people online is when folks abandon in person relationships in favor of the electronic variety. After all, itís easier. I can log into a social media site and create connections simply by clicking a button labeled ďfriend.Ē Real friendships require a little more than that. So many of these sites, while intending to combat the isolation and loneliness many feel, have actually deepened it by creating a shallow relationship standard. After all, why would I work at being friends with someone when I can just go online and after a few clicks, I have, in theory, all the friends I need.
And perhaps the greatest cause for concern is us forgetting that our relationship with Christ also requires work. Just look at it from the Lordís side. Our ability to even have any opportunity of a loving relationship with Him required a ďworkĒ called Calvary! And the efforts on our side will center on being a real disciple which involves real discipline. Sounds like more than a few mouse clicks to me.
With one another, the reward is lasting relationships you can truly count on. And with the Lord, expending the effort needed creates a connection with Him that plants you firmly by streams of living water. A connection with your Creator that will keep you rooted no matter how strong lifeís winds blow. And in the case of Jesus, Heís never offline or AFK. Heís always there. Thatís what I call Ö connected!
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