We live in an age of action by way of a computer keyboard. I realize that I am a total hypocrite as I write those lines on my laptop. Every day I try to write something God is laying on my heart with the hopes of encouraging, challenging and instructing people of like mind. I am trying to use my computer for good.
I know there are a lot of people who feel the same way that I do. They take to their computers and smartphones to help change the world. They write, and they comment as a Christian effort to help mold and shape the world.
Lately, I am losing faith in my keyboard. I am part of a ministers group on Facebook, and it is scaring me. Several people spend countless hours online arguing back and forth about how their view is correct. They pick apart each other’s politics. They comment about things I am sure of which they have no complete picture. Unfortunately, spending a few minutes reading the posts always leaves me feeling frustrated, confused and a little angry.
Slowly my mind shifts to the idea of how we use our time. How much time do we spend online? How much time is spent at my computer, tablet or on my smartphone? How much time do we spend reading and commenting instead of doing anything productive?
I am continually drawn back to the words of Jesus in Matthew 25. Jesus is teaching a parable about the separation of the sheep and the goats. It is a description of the end of the world and the judgment of all humanity by their maker. After the division, there are some questions as to why the groups were split as they were. Jesus responds to the sheep, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in, (36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:35-36 NIV)
It appears that for Jesus the spreading of his kingdom was not done at a keyboard trying to change some person’s views who lives “out there.” His view seems to be that we are called to take the kingdom of God in little ways right where we live. A meal is better than a like on Facebook. A drink of cold water is better than a share. A free change of clothes is better than any post of any kind. Help and companionship are greater than any online victories.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still write every day, but if that is all I do for the kingdom of God, then I am missing the point. We need to be sure our online life is nothing compared to your actual life. We need to take the kingdom of God that exists within us to the world that is immediately around us. God’s plan is to change the world one small selfless action at a time.