Oh, how the blessed complain

This morning I did a quick Facebook check before heading out the door and found status after status complaining about the latest changes made to Facebook.

Honestly, my initial thought was, “Are you kidding me?” – as in, Are you kidding me that people are complaining about Facebook?  See, Facebook is free to use.  If you don’t like the changes made, whether it be in formatting or privacy policies, you can delete your account and join another social networking site (or not).  Pretty simple stuff.

I made the decision to make a statement regarding these complaints.  My statement was thus: “If all of the Christians who have been complaining about the Facebook changes would get this worked up about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, then we might be getting some kingdom work done.”

My intent was not to ruffle feathers or cause debate, but I knew that statement might open the door to opinions differing from my own.  And that’s absolutely fine.  I would have to say that I can agree to disagree with folks on A LOT of things.  But when it comes to kingdom work and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I’m going to have to stand my ground…even if people disagree with me or don’t necessarily like what I have to say.

See…I view the changes made to Facebook as what may be termed as a “first world problem”.  In other words, it is only something that people in the Western world would complain about.  Let’s see…some other first world problems…”I missed ‘The Bachelor’ tonight!  Nobody spoil it for me!!”….”I cannot get cell reception on campus!”…”I don’t like the worship music that is used on Sunday morning.”…these are just examples.  Western thought is so wrapped up in “me”, “I’, “mine” that we often cannot see past the tip of our noses to the others around us.

If you haven’t noticed lately, people around us are dying and going to hell.  Bottom line.  Truth.  It is happening locally, around your city, around your state, around the country, and around the world.  So what are we doing about it?  This is not to say that you cannot have a TV show that you like to watch, or sports events that you attend or view on a regular basis…it is even okay to spend some time connecting and sharing with others on places like Facebook (gasp).  What is NOT okay is being so settled in our blessings that we complain when something with NO ETERNAL VALUE changes!  When we are so wrapped up in ourselves and what belongs to us and our stuff that we overlook the fact that we have SO MUCH MORE than so many others…there is a disconnect, there is a problem.  What I pointed out in my status update today was not in regard to time management (although I could discuss that in a completely different blog post).  Rather it was in regard to getting worked up, because I read some status updates today from people who were worked up about Facebook changing stuff up once again.  And I thought to myself – If we, as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, got that worked up about those around us that are lost, we might see a lot more people coming to know Christ as their personal Savior.  And, if you wanted to apply some time management thinking into that, you could say that if believers took the time they spent complaining about “stuff” and spent it on the lost more people would get to know about Jesus.  Hey, remember where these thoughts originated…in my mind and in my spirit.  They are speaking to me, perhaps even more so than anyone else!  No pointing fingers here.  Instead, I’m reaching out a hand.  Maybe I’m raising my hand first.  Because I know that I slip and complain about things that have no eternal value.  So perhaps I should re-state: If we, as the people of God, would spread the Gospel with the some umph and passion that we complain with, more people would come to know Jesus.

Think about the book of Exodus, how God rescues the Israelites from slavery and oppression.  He starts them on a journey (and is going along with them) to a land that He will deliver into their hands.  A really good land that will be theirs to keep.  He makes sure they have everything they need….but they still complain.  We are modern-day children of Israel prone to complain about stuff, what we have, and what we do not have…when God has laid out before us every single thing that we NEED.

We are a blessed people in this country.  To those who have been given much, much is expected and required.  So let’s stop complaining about how they’ve changed Facebook yet again, and pour out blessing on a world that needs to know God.

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2 thoughts on “Oh, how the blessed complain

  1. Although I totally agree with your stance on the bankruptcy of first world problems, I think I disagree with your treatment of the public’s outlash against FB changes and its relation to one’s spiritual health. Or that only things carrying an inherently eternal value are deserving of complaint (and then only sparingly?). e.g., the economy is going down the drain and people are legislating foolishness on Capitol Hill, but praise the Lawd none of that has any eternal value; I wash my hands of it!! Again, not exactly what you’re saying, but that’s how people get disconnected and become separatist Christians: they begin thinking that their relevance is confined to all things spiritual. That’s why some people want to be vacuum salesmen for Jesus instead of ladling soup for the homeless. My point being… in my experience, the most earnest, soul-saving, profession of faith seeking Christians can oftentimes be the least likely to display a “caring for widows and orphans” type of religion. But back to my original point… does the fact that everyone and their dog feels the need to join the FB complain gang indicate some lapse in attention to spiritual matters? Hardly. Think about FB chat. The same thing happening when it rolled out. A bloodbath of complainery. And then the novelty of it became the norm, and people moved on. Sorry to say, but that’s the nature of IT changes when software/hardware has mass use. People by and large reject the inconvenience of change. So in the largest social network, where even employers are now conducting business and advertising is rampant, it’s not hard to see why the most minute of changes can cause a huge ripple effect. Call it social trending, call it mass hysteria, whatever your label is, it’s still a valid phenomenon. A good analogy would be the relationship of the public’s perception of a company to that of its stock. It ebbs and flows with the changes, at times being catastrophic. Remember when FB was under fire for privacy concerns? Big hullabaloo, for good reasons. Imagine if the personal information you used to validate your account was able to be extracted by anyone willing to exploit it. Is it your fault for submitting it, even though you weren’t broadcasting the info to all your classmates? Or was it a legitimate concern for millions of users who realized that social media didn’t have nearly as many safeguards as it needed. And not to extend this already-blog-lengthy response to your blog, but your initial comment about said drama reminded me of Jon Acuff’s post on The Jesus Juke. http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/2010/11/the-jesus-juke/ Not accusing. Just thought you’d find it funny. Love ya, Roode. 😉

  2. Hey doll (in this case, aka Erik) 🙂
    I appreciate your honest response and willingness to “debate” the topic in a chill way. I do read Jon’s blog and understand the whole “juking” sitch. 🙂
    I sincerely wish the Church (as a whole) approached the Great Commission with as much gusto as they put into their various complaints (again, myself included because I haven’t miraculously melded into perfection yet).
    Thanks for being a constructive part of the discussion.

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