Social media is destroying us. I don’t say that lightly, either. We are losing our ability to sympathize with people. We've replaced the virtue of compassion with crassness. Instead of using caution, we share click-bait before we check the sources—sometimes before we've even read it! In these hyper-political days, it’s easy for us to treat every post as an opportunity to be a bastion for our own political stance.
We bite at our opponents—if we can really call them that—with our memes about the mask mandate. We share our hot displeasure about whether the country should have ever been reopened in the first place. We wage war about whether or not athletes should kneel during the national anthem or schools should reopen.
You wouldn’t talk to people that way in person. But “those idiots” aren’t face-to-face with you, they’re behind a phone just like you are. Those spoiled brat athletes have the same constitutional rights to peacefully protest at their jobs as the school teachers who chose to participate in sick-outs to protest against the government leaders. But it didn’t fit your agenda, so you shared a meme.
You say those gun-toting conservatives should leave their guns at home when they go to their “rallies”, but you turn a blind eye when black men show up fully-loaded to protest on behalf of black lives. Both groups have a constitutional right to protest and bear arms, but one group fit your agenda and the other didn’t.
So we continue. I talk to my friends about how dumb your view is. You talk to yours about how stupid my view is. We never talk face-to-face, but we @ one another in the comments and make sure everyone knows where we stand. We screen shot it and send it to other friends, and the gossip ensues. All of this because we don’t think before we post.
We are like conditioned animals who hear a bell or see a red notification pop-up and respond. We ask Google to provide us with wisdom—and it gives us knowledge without reproach. Can a search engine get mad at you? Nope. But it can cheer you on using algorithms that feed you the narrative you crave. So you find it and you post it.
Jesus has a word for us, and obedience isn’t optional. Even if your church doesn’t discipline you for your words, you should read this and tremble:
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak... -Matthew 12:36
Every careless word.
This includes the memes we share, the comment wars we get in, and the private conversations we have about “those” people. You know.. the “idiot liberals” and the “Republican morons“. Every time we falsely label someone a racist or a cultural Marxist counts, too. Anytime we speak slander and spread lies, we are guilty.
Every careless word.
Most of us are guilty of this. Some of us are sinning like this several times a day. It needs to stop. We must not sit back and let sin reign. The Bible calls us to examine ourselves and put sin to death. If we walk by the Spirit, we will live. But if we walk by the flesh, we are on the path to death. God takes even our little “careless” words seriously. If He does, why would we do otherwise?
What does this look like in practice?
Do you think before you post? Maybe it's time to give up social media for a season until you can build up self-control. That's what the Lord has stirred me to do lately.
God the Father has loved His Son for all eternity. As students of the Bible, we know that God’s love for Jesus didn’t begin (John 1:1). God is eternal. The fellowship between the Son and the Father transcends time, and the idea of Jesus being created is a heresy long refuted by Scripture and the Church.
Our eternal God has been in an eternal, living relationship.
That takes me back to something Jesus said in John 17:24. He said, “You loved me before the foundation of the world.” That immediately takes us back to the unimaginable time before there was a universe or even empty space. Empty air is still something! There was not even empty space because the fullness of God simply was.
We can’t even fathom that.
Yet there it is. The love of God the Father being poured out on His Son and the Son reciprocating His love for the Father. The Holy Spirit, too, was in this loving relationship too great for our minds to fathom. This is a sight too glorious for eyes. It’s too vast for the likes of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, or even Augustine. Some things are worth pondering, but they are still too deep. We must be careful (Psalm 131:1).
Even As Jesus Is Loved
As we ponder the depth of the love of the Father and the Son, let us take a long glance at another word Jesus has to say about the love of God. For those who are in Christ through faith, Jesus prays, “You...loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:23). Again, He prays that “the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).
Don’t hurry past that. Reread it. Slow down and think about what you just read.
God the Father loved Jesus perfectly and beyond measure (1 John 4:8). He loved Jesus before the foundation of the world for eternity past. And somehow He loves me even as He loved—and still loves—Jesus.
To say I’m unworthy is a gross understatement. I’m a sinner saved by grace. Amazing grace! Matchless grace! Infinite grace! Grace that is greater than all my sin! And by that grace, I am immeasurably loved by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
I'm looking at the moon as I write this. It’s 238,900 miles away and it’s massive in the night sky. The sun that is 92.96 million miles away warmed my skin today as I played outside with my family. And the God who made these and everything else loves me as much as He loves Jesus, His perfect, holy Son.
I’m moved to tears. I hope this can rock your soul, too. This is the beauty of the gospel. Sin-stained sons and daughters of Adam are adopted into the household of God by faith, through the Spirit because God loves us as much as He loves His Son. We see it when we read “in love, He predestined us for adoption to Himself” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
Not New, But Amazing
This isn’t anything new. It’s not something I’ve never read. But it’s the most amazing verse I’ve read today. It’s the most wonderful truth I’ve pondered tonight. It’s the greatest message I can share with my wife tonight before we drift off to sleep.
If you’re in Christ, through faith in Jesus, you are infinitely loved by the infinite three-in-one God of heaven. Walk in that love. Be one with everyone else God loves. Let your manner of life be worthy of this gospel message. Ponder this love and bask it in for the rest of eternity.
In Christ alone, we are deeply loved by God. In Christ alone, we can press on til tomorrow. In Christ alone, the love of God will compel us to glorify and enjoy God forever.