I probably don’t know you, but I would say I know something about you that is at least an important part of your life, or may even border on an obsession.
You checked it this morning; you’ll check it later, then right before bed … maybe even when you get up in the night to use the bathroom.
You think about it at meals, during school, and daydream about it most waking hours.
In fact, you probably have it open right this second!
Yep, talking about Facebook … and if you fit in the above description, you have something in common with 400 million other people on the planet that have allowed the little social networking site from Harvard to paint the backdrop of their lives.
And why not? Facebook is an amazing internet phenomenon. It allows people to broadcast to the world how great/boring/meaningless/exciting their lives are in just one little status bar, it helps grandparents keep in touch with family in seconds, and most importantly, we can all be compelled and riveted by what our friends are having for breakfast:
“Dude … I so dig the Frosted Flakes! Crunch Crunch! LOL!”
So no wonder some folks finally got around to making a film about the inception and birthplace of Facebook, with the inventive and creative title of … The Social Network. Essentially, guy gets dumped, hires friends to start a female rating network site, steals idea, now is a billionaire. Oh and he has a lot of folks in his life that are definitely not sending him friend requests.
In a phrase … a Geek Tragedy.
The interesting thing to me is that here is a story of success where the main character has invented a way for millions of people to be connected, yet he is probably one of the most relationally disconnected humans in the world. The brain behind Facebook is also the heart that is isolated ….
Ironic, isn’t it?
And yet it fits as well. Yes, Facebook is a "community" but there is no way that messaging and checking statuses can meet the infinitely deep need for relationship that we all carry in our souls.
Here’s an example. Do you think Shia Lebeouf has a ton of "friends" on Facebook? Um, I would say that’s a yes, but check out this quote from him: “I have no idea where this insecurity comes from, but it’s a God-sized hole. If I knew it, I’d fill it and I’d be on my way.”
Have you felt it too? The nagging need and constant craving to connect and relate with something or Someone infinite and eternal. The Bible puts it this way:
He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds: a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Amplified Bible)
So eternity and a sense of infinity lurk around the chambers of our hearts calling for attention, but most people try to answer that call with temporary things like sex, possessions, and chemicals. The bad news is that this strategy flat out does not work. If you haven’t discovered this yet, believe me, the "if it feels good, do it" crowd will inevitably end up saying: "it felt good, but now I’m paying for it."
But there is great news! God did not leave us in this trapped condition –
At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! (Colossians 1:21-22).
In a very real and tangible way, you have a ”friend request” from God. But He wants so much more than just to check in on your status and send you an occasional message. He shed His blood to give you a life that is dominated by an enduring sense of peace and contentment, joy and purpose, meaning and value. You’ll wake up with a sense of His love, you’ll go through your day embraced by His perfect will, and you’ll lay your head on the pillow of forgiveness and the knowledge that you are valued more than anything else in the universe.
But please don’t turn your back on your friends like the selfish inventor of Facebook by keeping this friendship to yourself. Post the message of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection on all the walls of people who still walk painfully through this life because of the God-shaped hole in their hearts.
Let’s turn The Social Network into a Salvation Network!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Facebook creates an unprecedented historical opportunity to share the love of Christ and the message of the gospel with a huge number of people across thousands of miles. Pray for opportunities to witness to your unsaved friends, and brainstorm with other believers about how you can creatively use this great tool for the glory of God.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:16-17).
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13).