Left Hand, Right Hand, Twitter & Facebook

Recently, I took a break from posting "status updates" to Twitter, aka "tweeting."  As the vast majority of any posts I make to Facebook are through my linked Twitter account, this also meant I was taking a break from posting "status updates" there too.

This came about as a personal response to my studying/teaching/preaching through Jesus' Sermon On The Mount, specifically, Matthew 6:1-6.

Jesus says, "Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired..."  He doesn't say don't do public good deeds, and He doesn't say don't allow anyone to admire you.  It's a matter of the heart.  What do I truly value?  What are my true motives? 

Continuing, Jesus says, "don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing."  This is a reference to one's closest friends.  The "right hand" is your confidant, or closest friend.  The "left hand" is the one who covers your weak spot.  Today we would say these are your "right hand man" and the one who "has your back."  In context, Jesus is saying don't even show off to your closest friends.

So, I responded by taking one full week, and every time I thought "that would make a great tweet," I asked myself, "what is my heart motive here... why do I want to put this out there?" Often, my answer was to encourage someone, anyone... to communicate information through the current most relevant tools... and to put a smile on someone, anyone's face.  A few times, though, my honest answer was to gain/keep approval of others... to prove myself by what I can produce... to impress... and to feel good/better about myself. 

Regardless of how I answered the question that week, I didn't "update my status."

This opened my eyes to just how much social networking sites feed my tendency to think/feel that it's all about me.  I realized that when I read the "status updates" of others, I had the tendency to feel like what they posted had something to do with me.  I had somehow bought into the lie that I am a star and I need to shine, and in all honesty, my social networking habits were beginning to be less about encouraging others, communicating information, and making people smile... and more about what others thought and felt about me.

I've come to grips that there will always be those who question the motives of pastors.  So much so that I realize that by blogging this, someone somewhere may take offense and imply that I'm being arrogant by admitting social networking feeds the ego... and it is not spiritually nor emotionally nutritious.  I will continue to use this media, because it is an amazing tool... when it is used as a tool, and not a drug... but I am checking myself constantly now, because I don't want your approval (btw, I'm not asking for your disapproval either) and my self-worth is not based on anything other than the love that Jesus Christ has for me and is placing within me.

This weekend, I learned "The Big Lie":  my performance + your approval = my self-worth.

My self-worth is based on who I am in Christ, and nothing else.  I'm working on it. (Now, that would make a great tweet!)

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