It crossed my mind the other day; what if Jesus was on Facebook (or any other social media site)? This thought originated from a question. It is one that often crosses my mind, namely: Are we as Christians missing a key factor in our spiritual relationship with Jesus?
“How does this relate to social media?” you ask. I will get back to that shortly.
At the beginning of my journey, like many of you, I gave myself to Jesus and said I would follow him. Now however, a glaring flaw reveals itself back at the start of my journey with Jesus. The flaw is that I misunderstood my role in the relationship. After all the many ups and downs in my faith journey, I see that I could have avoided my continued spiritual weakness, that is all but too apparent now.
The concept I allude to is this: at the end of the day, a Christian is one who is first a disciple of Jesus. Much like how faith leads us to exude good works (not the other way around), a Christian must first take on the role of a disciple.
I make the distinction between the label “Christian” and “disciple” because, by merely slapping the label “Christian” on ourselves, we skip the process of what it means to actually BE a Christian in doing so.
That being said, I now do not call myself a “Christian,” I only consider myself to be a disciple of Jesus. This means that I place my discipleship as priority in life, as in, I consider myself as spiritually bound, married if you will, to the person of Christ. No longer can I treat my spiritual relationship like that of a one night stand, or a weekend frolic with my lover (did someone say “Church?”). My relationship must be a 100% committed one, where my hopes, my dreams, my aspirations, my work, and even my play ALL point back to the one I love – Jesus.
Being a disciple is hard, calling yourself a Christian is not. Lose the label, take on the role.
“…disciples of Jesus are people who do not just profess certain views as their own, but apply their growing understanding of life in the Kingdom of the Heavens to every aspect of their life on earth.” ~ Dallas Willard “The Great Omission”
Back to the premise statement: What if Jesus was on Facebook?
If Jesus had a profile, what would it look like? If Jesus browsed your page, what would he see? I’m not positive that all the false representation and severely edited lives of “Christians” in social media would reveal much of what it really means to be one. Sure, we can post things that are positive and match what we think our Christian label should look like. But let’s be serious about this, do you and I really live our lives much differently than how we post about it?
Up to this point I know that I have only given token remnants of my life to Jesus, much like I have only put my best moments on social media. It’s not that I am lying, but I know deep down I’m hiding something, that I am holding something back. If you or I were to put everything about us on our profiles, it wouldn’t be a pretty sight. Unless …
If we are true disciples of Jesus instead of just the token remnants of what it means to be a “Christian,” the page of Jesus might be better represented, the profile of Jesus might actually be beautiful, full of love, and prove to be making a difference in the world. Being a disciple means to BE LIKE JESUS. If I were to be a disciple, my life and my profile would actually point to the one whose garments I have put on, whose character I am mirroring, whose love I am sharing.
If I were to be a disciple, I would be like Jesus and do what Jesus does. If I were to live my life in this way, than Jesus would be on Facebook.
For more information on being a “disciple” I suggest researching the historical and literary connotations of the term, as used by Jesus. One of the best presentations I have found on that subject was done by Rob Bell in his Nooma series, which I have linked below:
DISCLAIMER: I am in no way supporting the use of social media nor all the views of Dallas Willard and Rob Bell. I am simply using them as examples that you and I can identify with. Social media has the potential to harm more than help, but if, as I have stated above, Jesus was on Facebook, life as we know it would change. And God would say that it is good.