Have you ever shared something on social media you found funny, but that was met with the deafening silence of crickets? Or that upon further reflection, you realized it might not have reflected the love of Christ or the person you want to be? Happens all the time, right?
This is not a new phenomenon, and it did not originate with Facebook. We are probably all familiar with the social situation: It is the snarky, humorous comment we make with a group of friends, that instead of resulting in laughter, might be met with silence. It could be the mean thing said about someone else when we feel rejected. Or the awkward question that results from nervousness in trying to make conversation to fit in, instead of just relaxing and enjoying what God has for us in this very moment.
Then we brush it off: “It’s cool. We’re cool.” We retreat behind our defenses, feeling misunderstood and licking our wounds. Every time this happens, the defenses grow stronger and the wall gets a little bit higher. We self-protect.
But guess what: God uses us in all of our humanness, and he uses it for his purposes. The situation may require an apology, but there is no need to hide. In fact, hiding defeats the purpose. It is also kind of pointless. God sees it all. It is also in our brokenness that he is most glorified, and these things need to come into the light (John 3:21) if we are to be healed.
Humor can be tricky. Social media is even trickier.
I was told many years ago, I should not try humor. Seriously. The comment came from a former boss, and he probably said it because my humor can have a bite to it. It is not a good look for me. First, I have to admit a love for angry girl bands that started in the 90’s. One broken heart and most women can understand these girls in their disappointment and biting humor. I also acknowledge the sense of abandonment I once felt as I clung to this great big, blue ball called earth, searching for meaning as it spins through the universe at an incredible speed.
But then I met Jesus who changed everything. Anger and abandonment have been replaced by love, peace, belonging and a sense of wonder about God’s creation. Jesus is my center, and he is the reason I want to do better, to be better. I still fail in some of my relationships. I can be critical-and even hypocritical-as I try to live out my faith. But his life in me is changing my heart and redeeming me every day as I learn to trust him. I am eternally grateful for this gift.
Perhaps our most fearsome trial is the struggle within our own hearts as we wrestle with God or our circumstances. When Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove his weakness, the “thorn in his flesh,” the Lord replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s word is truth, and truer words have never been spoken.
As we walk through this life with Jesus and lean into him, putting our wholehearted trust in him alone, we come to realize that his grace is sufficient regardless of what comes our way (Philippians 4:11). It is here that we find true freedom, rest for our souls and transformation in our hearts.
If you have already put your faith in Christ, go ahead and push through the awkward to abundantly live out your faith. There will be painful moments ahead, and you will have to apologize sometimes, but God’s got this. If you do not know what you believe about God and this life, start with 15-20 minutes alone with your thoughts each day for a week-ask yourself, “What if this is true? What does this mean for my life or for those I love?” Then push through the awkward and ask someone you trust who has already made this decision for themselves. They may have more questions for you to think about, but it also may launch you on the adventure of a lifetime.
Photo credit: Creatista