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Avoiding Pitfalls in Ministry through Social Media

When we engage online, we face temptation to make too much or too little of ourselves

This obsession will eat our souls and consume us as we try to up our game on our witty status updates and controversial blog posts. We can become obsessed with feedback on what we've written, returning to our computers, pressing "refresh" every few minutes. The more likes, the more our egos are boosted.

Unfortunately, we can also become over-occupied with comparing ourselves to others who have more likes and followers than we do, trying to do all we can to up our ante to get to their level. Before we know it, we've been deceived into building our own kingdoms rather than God's. To get to this point is easier than we think.

Fear of Rejection

The trouble with social media is that as limitless as it is with getting messages out, it is also limitless and sometimes shameful how hurtful people can be in response. Because it's not a face-to-face conversation, comments on blog posts, Facebook status updates, and replies on Twitter can be devastating and hurtful to one's soul. No one wants to put their art on display for all to mock and throw things at. If we can overcome the "Who do you think you are?" syndrome, it's not long before a couple of hurtful comments will shut us right down. It's our deep-rooted fear of rejection that keeps us silent.

Silence guarantees our safety, but not others' freedom. Yes, our silence may protect us, but the liberation that could be brought to many from our acts of courageous writing and/or speaking will never manifest under the oppression of fear.

The worst criticism of all can come from ourselves. Even with a supportive community, thoughts of self-criticism, perfectionism, and "Who do I think I am?" are always at the forefront of the mind, ready to bring the same fear and doubt. How often do we keep our thoughts and gifts of writing to ourselves because of our own egos, believing what we create is not good enough to be read or viewed by others?

All about Me

The overriding temptation we need to avoid with social media is to make it all about our own egos and followings. The problem is that we can be deceived into thinking that we are all about building the Father's kingdom while we've become consumed with our own. This extreme and the extreme of allowing others to shut us down both make us overly sensitive to criticism because we're allowing what others think of us to dictate our actions. This fear of man cannot lead to good fruit.

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August01, 2013 at 9:55 AM

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