Guest Contributor, Elizabeth Johnson, DogFur and Dandelions
We are surrounded with so much social media these days. It’s easy to be consumed with it, to spend time we don’t really have reading and viewing and satisfying our curiosities. It’s easy to use these sites purely for entertainment or personal enjoyment.
But what if you could actually redeem your time on Facebook and Twitter? What if you could literally buy back the time, and make it count for eternity?
Here’s eight ways to do just that:
1. Share in others’ joys. People want someone to share their excitements, their joys, their enthusiasms. Be that someone. Resist your feelings of jealousy or your own inadequacies, and cheer them on in their successes and victories. Let them know you care about the good things that happen to them.
2. Share in others’ sorrows. Don’t be a fair-weather friend. Don’t ignore people’s statuses when they hit rough waters. People need to know they’re not alone when times get tough, so be there for them. Encourage them, pray with them, or just listen. Let them weep on your virtual shoulder. Take the time to discern what they’re not saying, and offer something helpful if you can (no platitudes, though!). Let them know you’re thinking of them, and praying for them.
3. Share prayer requests – for yourself or others. If someone you know is going through a crazy hard situation, ask if you can share their request with your friends. Chances are, they would love to receive extra prayer support. And don’t be afraid to let others see your own struggles. Share your own prayer requests (just don’t overshare, or share too frequently)! Build your own prayer network on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll be amazed at how many people are eager to pray for you, to help shoulder your burdens. You’ll be amazed at the encouragement it will bring.
4. Share praises. If you’ve asked prayer for something (or someone), and God answers in an amazing way, let people know! Praise God’s greatness together. Others will be encouraged to know that their prayers were not in vain, and you’ll be the recipient of people rejoicing alongside you. See the cycle? Reach out to others with your words, and in turn, they will reach out to you.
5. Share ministry opportunities. This could be as simple as asking people to pray for someone – or as big as sharing a new ministry that needs financial support. Give people a chance to help support God’s work throughout the world. Who knows? Perhaps one of your friends will give that final amount needed for a missions project. Perhaps one of them is looking for a place to serve, and what you share will be the perfect opportunity for them. Perhaps the ministry itself will answer a need that someone has, maybe even bring them to the saving knowledge of Christ! Do whatever you can to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ!
6. Share your message. Maybe you don’t have a ministry opportunity, but you have a message that God has laid on your heart. Maybe He’s burdened you about adoption, or broken marriages. Maybe you’re passionate about being a godly wife or raising godly children. Don’t be embarrassed or shy about speaking up! If God gave you that burden, then share it! That message could be the instrument to open people’s eyes to the needs around them – or simply to Christ Himself.
7. Share experiences. Be a mentor. It doesn’t even have to be official. Just make a difference in one person’s life. Offer encouragement and prayer support, rejoice with their successes, and just plain be there for them. Be an example that they can follow. This could be spiritual, or it could even be lifestyle-specific: help a new blogger, cheer on a new mom, reach out to someone entering your field. And be mentored. Learn from those who have gone before you. They’ve been where you are, and hopefully have some wisdom to share. Swallow your pride and ask for help. And take their advice. Because nobody can live life completely on their own. Be humble enough to benefit from other’s experiences, and to let others benefit from yours.
8. Share Christ in everything. People are always watching, whether you notice them or not. So think before you post. Consider carefully before you share something. Will it draw attention to Christ, or to yourself? Are those words gentle and loving, or hurtful and destructive? Is that link beneficial, or will it cause someone to stumble? Think about the message you are sending, and the reputation you are building. Choose what will exalt Christ above all.
The time we spend on social media can be redeemed. We can choose to pursue our own pleasures – or we can choose to build up the body of Christ, and exalt Him as our Head. Which will you choose?
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
About the author:
About the author:
Elizabeth Johnson is an Army wife, disciple of Christ, and fighter of Wegener's Granulomatosis. She loves words, coffee, friends, and mountain trails. And she is very much a work in progress. She'd love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter! And be sure to visit her blog, DogFur and Dandelions.
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