Counterfeit Community

Recently, I posed the question as to whether or not, I should get rid of my Facebook account. As I figured, most would be disappointed with not seeing pictures of my kids and my occasional writing. I think I have a solution that will be a good compromise, but I will get to that at the end of this blog.

My personal beef with social media. I am assuming that anyone reading this is much holier than I am; therefore these struggles probably do not apply. I just want to invite you into the journey that I am on right now. God has been stirring in my heart to let certain things go so that He can begin writing a new and different chapter in my heart. I am excited to see how He is at work, but at the same time it is difficult to let go of things that I have viewed as a priority in the past. Change is never easy but oh so necessary.

Over the last month and a half, I have been meeting with two men and we have been going through the book “gods at war” by Kyle Idleman. The main point of the book is exposing the areas of our life that have become worship points of our heart at the expense of worshipping God. I have had several areas that God continues to expose and Facebook was one of the big ones. I longed for notifications and affirmation that I felt I needed because of different wounds. By God grace, I have slowly begun letting go of these areas so that I can have more of Him. I realized something in the process of letting go, I know now what my heart was craving. First, I was craving God and a richer relationship with Him. But I was also craving community. My heart longed for live to live sharing that went deeper than a shared photo, meme, or inspirational quote. I long to know and be known by other people, especially other believers. Facebook and other social medias provide community, but it is a counterfeit one. It allows you access to know about someone, without truly getting to know someone on a heart level. I am not condemning social media, just simply sharing how it falls short of what our heart really craves.

Imagine this! I am on a horse, driving cattle across the Nebraska prairie grass. The horse I am on is a smaller framed horse but is sure footed and seasoned. I ride for hours pushing this herd to the corral. I look over to the rider next to me and it is you. You would see me with a determined look on my face, but a gleam in my eye because my soul is being replenished because of the adventure I am on. That would be a shared experience we would have and could talk about for years. We would bond over such a fun and almost spiritual time in the wild. We would always have a shared experience whenever we were together, no matter how long we were apart. We would look at each other differently and have a mutual respect for one another because we were both there together. We got those cattle corralled and the work continues until we run out of daylight, but our hearts are ablaze over the joy we experience together in nature.

Picture this! Tomorrow morning, when you haven’t gotten out of bed yet. You open Facebook and see a selfie of me on a horse driving cattle. You see the caption and giggle because I said something funny or witty (which is kinda the norm, lol.) It ends with #Nebraska. The scenery is pretty but not super high quality because I have an outdated iPhone. You may be stirred a little, maybe even enough to press like or a heart emoji. You might crack a joke about me being on a horse or tell me how pretty the horse is… Then you scroll on to something else.

Which scenario is closer to the truth for you? Which one would rather be a part of? If you are older and think there is no way you are getting on a horse, consider what your heart would want if you were able. Do want to see a picture or do you want to live life together? That’s what I thought. I want to share experiences in real community. I want a front row seat to the highs and lows. I want you there too. I would rather ride off into the sunset together than to just see the picture of it. Don’t post a picture of the beach you went on vacation to last month, invite me so we can experience it together. Who cares how many likes it might get later as long as your heart is fed with real, genuine community it desires. That is how God wired us all. He made us for community and community with each other. I want you physically in my house sharing a meal and laughing with my rascally kids, not just showing a picture of it later.

Life is meant to be shared and experienced together, in person. I am tired of settling for counterfeit community, I want the real thing. Later today, I plan on being on a horse driving cattle. The men that I will be with are going to share that time with me and there will be no post about it later. the shared experience and the burning in my heart will be what is real. Life is too short to settle for less than the real thing.

As I land this plane, let me leave you with a challenge. Before you post another thing on social media, consider how you might share that experience with someone in person. Before you indulge in hours of mindless scrolling, listen to how your heart is craving connection with Jesus and other people. I am not trying to start a movement, but simply hoping you look above the screen and see real life as it is. Don’t stage it, don’t touch up the picture to cover the flaws, go real and do it with others. Months from now, years from now, no one will care about your trip to the Piggly Wiggly to buy crackers that you needed for a kids craft project at bedtime. So don’t bother posting it. What will matter is the actual time you invested with your family and friends.

So here is my compromise. I am going to delete my Facebook account, but before I do I will start a new one for this blog so that I can continue to encourage people through writing. I will post the occasional kid pic but the best bet for viewing such picture is being friends with Amy and she can keep the kid photos flowing (The Lord knows we don’t need any more photos of me, HAHA!)

I hope you consider this blog and wrestle with what is best for you. I have and will move forward by faith. Honestly, I am glad Facebook wasn’t around when I was a bit untamed, but that is another blog entirely. So I will live without it!! Grace and Peace to you as you seek Real, Genuine Community!

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