Faith Life Musings

The Problem of Pride in the Age of Twitter

My friend Jon forwarded along an article from the January/February ’09 issue of Relevant Magazine that I found to be an interesting read.  You can read the full article by clicking the picture below.

Relevant Magazine | The Problem of Pride in the Age of Twitter

A couple of quotes that I found particularly convicting:

We desperately seek to contribute – to be significant.  Blogs give us this chance, and so does YouTube, and Twitter, and Facebook, and the rest.  Suddenly we have things to say and — more importantly — people who are listening.

But these ways of “reaching out” or “giving back” to culture are still predominantly about me.  About how I find meaning by bouncing ideas off of the wider web world.  About feeling important, validated, useful, interesting.

I’ve never really thought about it this way, but the “Social Networking Revolution” is, fundamentally, something about “me.”  In broadcasting what is going on in my life (and seeing what is going on in the lives of others), Twitter/blogging/whatever speaks to my pride, my desire to “feel important” or be respected.

Even when it comes to finding new music, a voice in the back of my head considers the satisfaction and the affirmation I receive I find something my friends haven’t heard of before.  I used to check the stats on my webpage often to see how many people visited daily, and from where.  Seeing lots of hits made me feel important, as though people somewhere looked to me for insight or information.  It was a good feeling.  

Looking to the outside world to affirm that can be very, very dangerous.  In attempting to feel connected with others, we increasingly abstract ourselves from real relationships, selfishly focusing on ourselves above all else.  We end up creating our own truths and realities.

It appears that ultimately we’re retreating further inward, to the “i” world of our personal computing universe.  Under the guise of increasing our levels of connectivity, these technologies are ultimately just tools to help us isolate, insulate and unshackel from the outmoded constraints of having to answer to anyone other that ourselves.

“Social web” applications such as Facebook or Twitter by nature open up a multitude of possibilities and capabilities for digital interaction, and I’ve incorporated a number of them into my daily routine.  It is important to balance these digital interactions out with “real” relationships, however.  There is no substitute for grabbing breakfast or coffee with a friend, looking them in the eyes, and really communicating without feeling the need to show off.

Accountability is refreshing; it’s funny how we can find ourselves silently sitting in front of a screen for hours on end, wondering why we still feel empty. 

The end of the article frames the issue well from a Christian perspective:

In times like these – when it’s easier and more alluring than ever to be or feel important –  Christians must remember that we’re not called to be viral superstars, we’re called to be living sacrifices.  We’re not instructed to make ourselves look as good as possible in front of the largest audience we can; no we are instructed to deny ourselves and humbly follow Christ.

It’s our best friends that remind us of that, anyway.


Edit:  my friend Harrison has some good commentary on this article over on his website, as well.  I recommend you go over and read what he has to say.

Faith Life

I Will Not Take My Love Away.

I will not take my love away
When praises cease and seasons change
While the whole world turns the other way
I will not take my love away
I will not leave you all alone
When striving leads you far from home
And there’s no yield for what you’ve sown
I will not leave you all alone
I will give you what you need
In plenty or in poverty
Forever, always, look to me
And I will give you what you need

I will not take my love away.

[!] Christian Faith Life

Happy Easter.

 “When Jesus took in that breath
And shattered all Death with his life ”

It’s Easter Sunday!  Christ is risen!  Hallelujah!

High noon in the valley of the shadow
When the shadows were shot through with light
When the mouth of the tomb
Shouted, “Glory, the Groom is alive”
So long, you wages of sin
Go on, don’t you come back again
I’ve been raised and redeemed
All praise to the king
The victor of the battle
High noon in the valley
In the valley of the shadow


Happy Easter.

Faith Life

For Jude.

Wake up, Jude. We’re praying for you.


I listened to this song and thought of you. Caedmon’s Call – There Is A Reason.

Awaiting the dawn…

late at night I wonder why
sometimes I wonder why
sometimes I’m so tired
I don’t even try
seems everything around me fails
but I hold on to the promise
that there is a reason

late at night, the darkness makes it hard to see
the history of the saints who’ve gone in front of me
through famine, plague and disbelief
His hand was still upon them
cause there is a reason
there is a reason

He makes all things good
He makes all things good
there’s a time to live and a time to die
a time for wonder and to wonder why
cause there is a reason
there is a reason

i believe in a God who sent His only son
to walk upon this world and give His life for us
with blood and tears on a long, dark night
we know that He believed
that there is a reason
there is a reason

for the lonely nights
and broken hearts
the widow’s mite
in the rich man’s hand
and the continent
whose blood becomes a traitor

for the child afraid to close their eyes
the prayers that seem unanswered
there is a reason
there is a reason

Faith Life Musings


Verse of the Day

You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin. (Psalm 85:2, ESV)

I’ve had a pleasant afternoon, full of quiet and reflection. I got home from the Fellows Initiative retreat about 1:30 PM, and I’m still sifting through all that was talked about there. It’s been a while since I’ve really had time to sit down and think. I make myself so busy with things that ultimately don’t seem to matter. I worry a lot about things that have less value than I put into them. I dull the edge of the creative streak God has instilled within me. I’m still trying to get my head aroud the things that really matter, realign the priorities in my life to coincide with the things I profess to be true. It’s no easy feat, and it won’t happen overnight, I’m sure. One thing this weekend really reaffirmed for me was the strength of the friendships that have fallen out of my experiences with the Fellows Program. A lot of wise council, affirmation, and correction has resulted from the 12 other individuals I chose to spend a year with and those that committed themselves to help us grow. I wouldn’t give it up for the world; It’s become so apparent to me how God puts us places for a reason. I don’t know what I would do without these guys, these brothers, sisters, teachers and friends. It gives me hope.

I’m a work in progress, a traveler on the road of the already-but-not-yet. There are many miles to go, and I’m often not sure exactly how I’ll make it or what it will look like, but what I do know is tied up in the that passage from the Psalms. So often I forget it or sweep it under the rug in the midst of my business, but it stays the same. I’m going to be ok. It’s all going to be ok, and I can sleep at night with the knowledge that while there will be valleys amidst the mountains, I’m going to be fine. For the first time in a long time, I feel covered. It’s refreshing.

Our lives are played out between the bookends of Love and Thunder, and God is found equally amidst both, constant and true.

Come, love.

Come, thunder.