January 13, 2020
Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook are all different types of social media. Literally every teen in the 21st century probably has an account on multiple different social media platforms. Social media provides a network that enables users to create and share content or participate in unlimited social networking. People of different ages use social media for different purposes. Teenagers predominantly use different platforms as a way of communication while many adults use it for advertising or seeing what old friends are up to. While on the surface social media sounds like a light-hearted form of communication, there are certainly pitfalls and potential hazards waiting to disrupt our lives.
As a result, many people have days when they wish they could be by themselves and just get away from the cell phone, e-mail, Facebook postings, or Tweets. Maybe you just get tired of having people in your face. Recent studies show that the desire for maintaining personal space and the advent of all of the social networking platforms have collided creating more challenges in maintaining a person’s private space. In the last decade online dating services have leaped into being one of the top ways that people form new relationships. In one study, researcher Malcolm Gladwell stated in his column for the “New Yorker” that there is strength in the “weak ties” social media relationships offer. Gladwell discovered “our acquaintances, not our friends, are our greatest source of new ideas and information.” Social media has given people new ways to meet and stay in touch over shared interests, for someone is likely talking about what another person is interested in. People may develop real-life relationships as a result of the virtual connection they share online but establishing an actual friendship may not evolve as expected. Many Americans have Twitter “followers” or Facebook “friends” they have no intention of meeting in the physical world, and others seem more fluent online than in person. Other common social media activity, such as deleting a contact or refusing a friend request, can also confuse relationships. Apparently, people can actually offend each other for not allowing access to posts, videos and other content that other friends are able to view. Social media can in this sense actually become anti-social.
The fact is that even though the electronic media has changed the way people connect, and the method for socializing has expanded, God created each of us to enjoy relationships. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” We are actually pretty miserable people when we have no one to interact with. Even though our interaction with people is vital in our lives, we also know that as a Christian, our most important relationship is with our Heavenly Father. In the eyes of the secular world, a relationship with God is either unimportant or impossible. These are the same people who would also believe that relationships with other people are a vital part of their lives. The truth is that people often fail in their relationships with other people because they lack a right relationship with God. In Proverbs 3:5-6, the Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your way.” “Trust” is to have total reliance or confidence in something or someone. In a relationship, trust is all important. If a marriage relationship is successful, a husband and wife must trust each other completely. Each one must be dependable, faithful, and loving if the marriage is going to work. In Proverbs 3:5 we are told to trust God with all of heart. Any relationship cannot work if the trust is not complete, with all of our heart. It is no different in our relationship with God, it must be complete.
Many years ago, prior to the age of prolific litigation we now live in, a tight rope walker stretched out a wire over a portion of the Niagara Falls. He asked the crowd, “Do you believe I can walk across this wire?” They all cheered and said yes, and so he walked across the wire and back. Then he asked, “Do you believe I can walk across the wire without a balancing pole?” Again, they cheered and urged him to do it, and again he walked across and returned. Then he asked, “Do you believe I can roll a barrel across the wire?” Yes, they cheered. “With a man inside the barrel?” Yes, yes, they screamed. Then he asked, “Who will volunteer to get into the barrel?” There was silence, no one would volunteer. In order to get into the barrel a person would have to place their entire trust in this man’s ability to safely cross over the wire.
If we trust in God and are willing to place our confidence in him for our salvation, our eternal life, and our daily sustenance, we have to “get into the barrel.” Are you confident in the Lord for every need you have? Do you trust him for helping you in your family, in your church, in your daily responsibilities, or whatever comes into your life? We can never fully understand God’s ways, but we can trust Him. We cannot see into the future, but we can follow God into the future. The promise is that when we trust him and follow him, he will direct our path and lead us in the right way, especially in the development and maintenance of our personal relationships with others.