Coaching From the Sidelines of Social Media

1 10 2013

I am no cyber guru. I must rely on others many times for Internet and computer issues that most people would consider elementary. My son set up this blog and God knows who (if anyone) reads it. My passion is ministry to people. I want to stand by their side in tragedy, catch their tears in times of grief, and rejoice with them at the birth of a baby. I want to go out of my way to make one person loved. I want to inspire hope to those who have none, to offer Christ to those who think He would never want them. Yet, in my study and peruse of social networking and blogging, I find this medium and amazing tool that could be used to help people. Its reach extends thousands of miles instantaneously. Can I give you a viewpoint from someone on the sidelines of cyberspace?

I think of Moses standing before a burning bush in Exodus 4:1-5. For 40 years he lived as a fugitive of Egypt, even rejected by the Jews in bondage. Now, he tends sheep on the backside of the wilderness – for 4 decades! God speaks and tell Moses to go the most powerful nation on earth to deliver His people from the grip of the most powerful man on earth. Moses does what we would have done, he makes excuses, if you look at verse 1, his excuse is legitimate! Then God gives an object lesson that applies to our response to the power of the internet. “What is in your hand” (verse 2)? It was a rod, and ordinary, run-of-the-mill, shepherd’s rod. Everyone had one. “There is no way,” Moses is thinking, “that I can beat a whole army with this thing!” “Cast it to the ground,” God commands. When he did, the rod became a snake. When God directed him to take it by the tail, it once again became a rod. God did not answer Moses’ excuse about what he did not have; He just wanted him to take stock of what he did have. When Moses surrendered what he had, casting it to the ground, he saw its hidden potential. He then grabbed that potential by the tail, trusting God to use it. The rod represents God’s use of the ordinary, when we surrender it to Him. God used that rod to bring plagues, divide the Red Sea, and deliver His people.

We have a rod. It is our desktop, our laptop, our I-phone. It is: My Space, Face Book, Twitter, web sites, blogs, whatever. We have a people who need deliverance from the bondage of hopelessness, fear, tragedy, and internal struggles. We have a virtual community who needs compassion, an understanding spirit, wisdom, and of course, the Gospel. What is in your hand? A rod? Cast it to the ground in surrender and then pick it up, using it to do the work of God. He still uses ordinary people at the backside of the wilderness, to do extraordinary things!

So how can we pick up this rod by the tail once we “cast it to the ground” in surrender?

1. Show compassion to those who hurt.
When Jesus saw the people who came to hear Him in Mark 6:34, He had compassion on them. He did not see them as an avenue to rent His feelings, but used His words to give direction. They needed someone to take their hurt, their pain, and their fear seriously. We could offer a listening ear, an understanding heart, and a helpful attitude.

2. Speak truth to their questions.
Colossians 4:6 reminds us that our speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt. “Grace” is being patient with the ranting’s of others. It is being forgiving of personal attacks and hurtful words. “Salt flavors, it gives depth to a conversation, and it uses truth. With our words clothed with grace and salt, we are ready to “answer every man.” There are many people in cyberspace seeking honest answers. They are blinded by the lies of the god of this world. They need truth!

3. Share the gospel.
The bottom line, their most important need, is to trust Christ as their Savior. The thing is, they do not even see that they have this need! They are lost and have no sense of direction. They do not consider the Source of all hope. They need Him who is the Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6). I challenge you to be cyber-missionaries to these people.

What is in your hand? A social network? A blog? A platform for speaking grace and salt into the market place of ideas? Cast it down, let God change it. Then pick it up by the tail and use it for His glory and the furtherance of His Kingdom.

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