It is not uncommon that I find myself worried for the emotional or physical safety of a friend or a loved one. Whether I feel they are in a “bad” relationship, are “wasting their life”, or making decisions which I don’t feel exemplify their abilities, talent, and potential, watching someone I care about make “bad decisions” is never easy.
As I have alluded to in the past, I enjoy reading “Your Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers at times. Last night, I was reading an entry in which Chambers talks about “fretting” as a sign of spiritual immaturity and a lack of faith.
As I read it, I was frankly surprised at his words. Chambers mentioned that, most of the time, we feel as though we “fret” for others because we feel that we are wise and able to discern that what they are doing is, indeed, hurtful. “If only they knew how things will turn out if they keep going like this,” we might think, “they would indeed stop doing it.”
On the contrary, though. If we were wise, faith-filled Christians, we would know that life is not about making the right decisions, or being “safe” in our lives, or even glorifying Christ in all we do (yes, I said it). Life is living life as best we can, knowing full well that we will mess up big-time, and we will never attain the perfection or maturity which we might ernestly strive for.
As for fretting for others, the most faith-filled thing we can do is to trust that our loved ones will be okay, and that the Lord will protect them and us from ourselves.
As a mature Christian, I will trust my friends and loved ones to the Lord. I will allow Him to intervene in their lives. Instead of rebuking, correcting, or attempting to direct them, I will instead simply love and live life next to them, expecting they will do the same for me.
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
About two weeks ago, I decided to take a hiadus from Facebook. At the time, I hadn’t thought through the decision a whole lot. I just knew that Facebook distracted me throughout my day, and I had a lot of projects at hand to work on.
I asked a great friend to change the password and not give it back for at least a week. And I told him he couldn’t stir up trouble by impersonating me, either. So far as I know, he hasn’t… yet.
Anyway, now that Facebook is beyong my reach, I realize how much time and attention I had turned over to it. In fact, the morning after my friend changed the password, I woke up, rolled over in bed, grabbed my Blackberry, and started to login when I remembered I couldn’t. I laid there, as I mustered the will power needed to throw the sheets open and receive the inevitable gust of cold air, and was surprised at myself for missing Facebook as soon as I awoke.
Throughout that day, I came upon countless moments in which I wanted to share my world with my “friends”, and reached for my Blackberry or opened FireFox on my laptop, all to be reminded that I spend way too much time on this site. If I was even the slightest bit bored, my mind turned to Facebook. If I thought of a friend, saw something funny, or came up with an idea which I thought I could use to bait others into commenting on my status, my mind would turn to Facebook.
I’m addicted. Not to Facebook, though, but to myself. My motives for using Facebook are almost completely my desire to obtain recognition from others. Specifically, I’ve become quite adept at roping 10 to 20 people into commenting on my status updates, sometimes even several a day. All because I thrive on attention.
My narcissistic nature and demand for fame have become my spritual “right hand”, and I’m working on cutting these off. Just as it would take work to cut one’s own hand off, it’s taking me some work to cut off my own ego, but I’m slowly working toward it.
I will return to Facebook some day. It maybe today or tomorrow, or it may not be until next week or next month. I simply don’t know. As of right now, I am not strong enough for Facebook.
I’m actually glad Christ has given me an ego and made me a prideful, narcissistic being. It allows me to experience His grace and mercy, and to seek him out knowing full well that he has accepted me, a man with poor intentions and an incorrect heart. And He loves me anyhow.
It’s about time that the next generation steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for their church, their community, and even their own lives.