I grew up in the 1980s—a time when high-waisted jeans weren’t retro and hairspray was a way of life. We passed notes in class, wore pagers on our belt loops, and never uttered words like “Friend me.”
This partly explains my laissez-faire view of social media. For me, it’s been something to ignore rather than to join. Yet when COVID-19 hit my home of Minneapolis, I felt desperate to help. Imagine my surprise, then, when God encouraged me to start posting one uplifting thing on Instagram and Facebook every day!
“Me?!” I remember asking him. “I don’t even know how to use hashtags correctly!” But when God says go, you obey.
So I started making posts. Sometimes people liked them. Sometimes not. It didn’t really matter, though, because God was taking me on a transformative journey throughout this assignment. Here are a few things he taught me along the way:
- Pursue faith. When we choose faithfulness over followers, God will show up every time. Remembering the WHY behind the WHO is vital to staying obedient to his assignment.
- Post for the one. If God would leave the 99 to search for the one (see Matthew 18:12), then so should we. Keeping our eyes fixed on one person will keep categorical scorekeeping at bay.
- Remain consistent. Just as with in-person relationships, our online followers need to trust that we will show up for them and deliver a consistent message too.
- Set boundaries. Pick a time of day to post and respond and leave the rest for tomorrow. Jesus wasn’t out ministering and “friending” twenty-four hours a day, and neither should we.
- Don’t “eat” your feed. Devouring a pint of ice cream might feel good when we’re sad, but afterward it’s a gut rot of regret. The same is true with social media. When we’re angry or depressed, we shouldn’t “eat our feed”; we should run to God instead.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest aren’t our foes, and they’re not our best friends either. We aren’t bound to them any more than to our high-waisted jeans because we’re bound FIRST to the love and faithfulness of Christ (see Proverbs 3:3). His appeal is way more enigmatic than we are anyway, and he is what our followers need most.
Jonna holds a master’s degree in teaching English and has been to almost twenty countries! She is passionate about motherhood, living by the fruit of the spirit, and eating popcorn. Follow more of her journey at www.jonnameidal.com or @jonnameidal.