Matt. 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.
The problem with the religious officials was that their faith was only skin deep. Everything that they did was for others to see. They wanted the praise of people but they weren’t very interested in being genuine before God. They were skilled at good sermon preparation and presentation and therefore they could be critical of others, but their sermons never made it to their own hearts. They did not practice what they preached and so their lives were simply a facade, a fake exterior, trying to look good and impress the world around them.
The temptation of this day is to provide the world with a view of our lives on social media that is not real. There’s a bit of a joke that a relationship between a couple of people isn’t real unless it’s “Facebook official.” The humorous side of this is that often I find a relationship becoming “Facebook official” about 10-20 years after a couple has already been together. It’s just a piece of software getting the update or a new piece of information. What it doesn’t have is the reality of the day to day relationship between two individuals.
The life portrayed by individuals on Facebook is often not real. We want people to think that everything is perfect and that there are no difficulties and so we photoshop and work hard to remove every blemish possible. The problem is — this isn’t real, nor is it real life!
Just imagine what the scribes and Pharisees could have done with social media! I can only imagine all the wonderfully religious tweets and posts. They would have looked good and sounded super-spiritual but it would not have changed their behavior. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what kind of eloquent words we use or the pictures that we post, what matters is how we live on a day to day basis. Our lives become a living testimony to Christ.
The problem with being “Facebook Official” is that it doesn’t have to be based in reality. What matters to God and to the world around us that needs us, is reality! We are to practice what we preach. So the next time (preaching to self here) you post something or tweet something, think about the implications in our own life. Are you willing to actually live out your public opinion? If someone were to observe you on a daily basis would they see the same thing that you portray in social media?
As we anticipate the arrival of our Messiah, may we remember that he came in the flesh to redeem humanity. It wasn’t a virtual experience, but was incredibly real. He lived, suffered and died, for you and me. Therefore we are to practice what we preach, living out our faith in the flesh each and every single day.
Lord, please help me to live in the power and presence of your leading in my life, every single day. Amen.
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