On Loving God and Others in Our Communications

by Bethany

Highlighted Text: 1 Peter 5:6-7, 10
Full Text: Isaiah 17-18; 1 Peter 5

Love | How should we think about loving God and others in our communications with each other? After a year hiatus, I recently rejoined Facebook for work. As you probably know, Facebook stores all your information so that, if you want to reactivate your account, you haven’t lost anything. Three weeks ago, when I logged back on and saw my past activity, I was disappointed with myself. Almost all my activity was about three people – me, myself and I. So I decided to start anew. I deleted my entire wall and resolved to make the purpose of my online communications the same as my in-person communications – namely, to love God and others.

Church | When the apostles wrote letters to churches, they didn’t merely broadcast information about themselves. They never spoke of their persecution to brag about their gospel commitment or to gain their readers’ sympathy. Instead, they always aimed to magnify Christ and encourage their readers to endure in their love for God. Peter, for example, exhorted his discouraged readers, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you … And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” [1].

Others | In Philippians, Paul wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” [2]. When it comes to our communications – whether in-person or online – with one another, how can we love God and others? No, not every conversation or status update has to be about God and Christianity. But how can we re-imagine what loving God and others looks like in all of our communications with each other?

Prayer | Lord, We confess that we are oftentimes self-seeking and self-focused people. As it was in the beginning, so it is now – we love to look to our own interests above the interests of others. How desperately we need new hearts! Give us great joy in imaging forth the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice as we put others’ interests first in all of our communications with one another. Amen.

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Footnotes

[1] 1 Peter 5:6-7, 10 ESV  |  [2] Philippians 2:3-4 ESV

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3 Comments to “On Loving God and Others in Our Communications”

  1. You are more troubled than you think. Me, myself, and I are all the same person. Unless you have multiple personalities and that requires professional help. Most of social media is designed to reflect our desire to be heard, respected, and to matter. This desire is very human. Once we worship ourselves and other creation, we have been sucked in by the insidious power of pride.

  2. Ha. You’re hilarious. Yes, you’re right: I’m more troubled than I think, but for many more reasons than MPD! Ha.

    I totally agree with you about social media. Did you see the recent study in March about narcissism and Facebook? Here’s some of the coverage: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/does-facebook-turn-people-into-narcissists/, http://mashable.com/2012/03/19/facebook-narcissism-2/.

    I think we’re all selfish as a result of the Fall, but a lot of social media outlets create platforms that encourage it without us even recognizing it. For example, one thing that I now find crazy about Facebook (but didn’t think about before because I was too engrossed in it) is that it notifies all my friends if I “like” or “comment” on someone else’s photo – even if my friends don’t even know the other person’s photo. So I could actually not be as self-centered as Facebook is making me seem, i.e., it’s not me that’s saying, “Hey! Look at my ‘like’ of my friend because I think you, my friends, should know all my ‘likes’!”; it’s Facebook saying that by their default setting. That’s just one example.

  3. I’m convicted, even with the feeble activity on my FB page.
    You are so inspiring to me to go ahead and jump off the diving board…(hmm…into the Lake of God’s Glory maybe)

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