Well, it has been an interesting week. Reflecting back on this week I was reminded of this last year’s youth retreat. If you were there and can remember we talked about what it looks like to slow down. Now it feels like the whole world is slowing down. But one of the things we focused on is how our digital devices and social media accounts can keep us distracted from real authentic, face to face relationships. And now we find ourselves here, socially distanced.
I posted on Instagram today for the first time in over a year. It felt weird but in the midst of being told to keep our distance I want to reach out and connect. In fact, I have posted more to instagram, sent more messages on Facebook, texted more people and had more video calls in the last week than I have in all of 2019.
Last night I was speaking with a group over Zoom (I had not even heard of zoom last week) and one of the things I heard was that we are being asked to practice “socially distancing” from others, but a better phrase may be “physically distancing”. In the midst of keeping our distance physically from one another, now may a good time to reach out and connect more socially.
Here are some thoughts of how we can use our social media platforms.
1. Encourage and build up one another
1 Thessalonians 5:11a
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up
There are so many ways we can connect with others during this time, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and the list goes on. Rather than endlessly scrolling through our friends feeds take a moment to stop. Send an encouraging word to a friend, family member, classmate, or that person who has been following you on Instagram but you have no idea who they are (they need encouragement too).
2. Be patient with one another
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
When we can not gather together and talk face to face we loose something. Some say that a large percent of what we communicate is through body language and tone. So when you read a comment be gracious and think the best of others.
3. Share each others burdens
2 Share each other’s burdens,
Take time to listen to each other. Everyone is probably burdened with something, isolation, concern for loved ones, illness, financial trouble, worry about graduation and so on. Take a moment to ask how each other are doing and then listen. Pray with one another. Paul writes in Philippians
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
4. Greet one another with a kiss…
16 Greet each other with a sacred kiss. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.
Okay maybe this one we can take a break from for a while.
My prayer is that you are doing well in this season of uncertainty, and if not tell someone. Let’s continue to love one another even if we can’t be near each other.
By Josh Kraubner