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Expressing Your Beliefs: Beliefs Part 2

Expressing Your Beliefs

We Share our Beliefs In Many Ways:

  • Views & Observations
  • Advice
  • Jokes & Musings
  • Stories
  • Complaints & grumblings
  • Mood Changes
  • Gestures & Body language
  • Changes In Speech Patterns/Pitch/Word Selection

Image from SocialMediaclub.org

On a subconscious level we believe that we are the “Masters of our own domain” and the preeminent “experts” on all things “Me”. We know what we want, and we know when and how we want it. We have lived our own lives long enough that we believe we know how it should work, and we are the center of our world, and nothing works properly without our input.

Because we are the masters of our own world we also believe that “If it’s good enough for me, it must also be good for everyone else as well.” So we share what we believe with others, even if it’s not very well thought out. After all, look at our digital age and the success of such popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Blogging.

We blog, post, share, and tweet everything that we love, think and feel. We click on the “like” button of life to constantly express our our likes with others. We are constantly broadcasting and expressing ourselves to the world around us as if we are looking for their approval in what we have to say.

Luke 20:46 “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

The basic human desire to share what we believe is so strong that it is almost impossible to stop people from doing it. Just turn on the television and radio and in seconds you will see what I mean. From the songs you hear, to the views, attitudes and fashions you see, you will be bombarded by a constant stream of broadcasts designed to condition and influence consumer behavior with what the advertiser believes you should want and need from them, and the advertisers will claim it will improve your life and make you more acceptable to the popular beliefs of others… and it works!

Mark 8:36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Ezra 7:18 And whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do it according to the will of yourGod.

Just how much money and effort is spent on influencing and conforming us into a like-minded consumer based society? In 2008 the big tobacco companies spent over $9.94 billion in advertising in the US alone. That is only one example of the millions of other consumer based products available to us each day. What if we look at the success of a financial giant like Facebook, with an estimated worth of $50 billion. Facebook does not manufacture anything. It has no product that you can touch. There is no shipping available. It is a social media and all it does is give you a place to express yourself. It is not like any other big corporation because it manufactures nothing and employs no assembly line workers. It doesn’t even seem to need to advertise like other companies do, since we seem to do that for them. Our desire to share with others is so great that we promote Facebook to our friends and families so we can share our lives with them online.

How does Facebook make its money? Well each of those little ads you see online are specifically selected from millions of advertisers to influence you. The ads you see are selected for you, based on your stats and online viewing habits. Advertisers love the specific target audience they get by having a venue that knows their viewers intimately, and is viewed by more people than any other website in the world. You don’t make $50 billion unless you appeal to the desires of a massive audience and give them exactly what they want most. And what is it that we want most? A voice and validation.

Luke 12:30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.

The main theme in Facebook is the ability to “Like” a post that someone shares and the ability to connect with “Friends”. Just look at the number of online “Friends” you have, and how excited you get when someone clicks “like” to one of your posts. The greater the number of “friends” you have the more your beliefs are being heard and the greater the chance that someone else will “Like” what you have to say. And the more people that “like” what you have to say the more validated you feel in what you believe, thus making you feel accepted by others, and confirming that your beliefs are correct by popular standards. After all, this is all about grooming you into a consumer based society with endless consumption needs. By fitting into a standard of others you will need to have what others have to be like them.

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

Do you remember the city of Gomorrah in the Bible? No, I am not comparing Facebook to Gomorrah. Facebook is simply a tool for expressing our likes with others. But it fills a unique human social need. We are a very insecure people and we are always scrambling to find our place in the pecking order in life. The higher you are on the top of the food chain the safer your world feels, and the more likely you are to get what you want. By having a medium like Facebook we find a place to fit in with like-minded individuals and it creates a sense of community that you can’t find in the real world. This community is mostly an illusion of “friends” but it “likes” what you have to say and it assures you that you belong with them.

So why would I compare Facebook to one of the fallen cities of sin that God wiped from the face of the Earth? Because it shows our need to assemble as a unit of like-minded individuals, and it shows our need to heap into a system of order that manipulates our desires to be like everyone else. At our core we crave to belong, and unfortunately we tend to make ourselves slaves to the image of men, and not to conform into the image of God.

Gomorrah = “submersion”

Submersion into the consumptions of sin

H6017 עֲמוֹרָה
`Amorah (am-o-raw’) n/l.
1. a (ruined) heap, of iniquity
2. Amorah, a place in Israel, the twin-city in evil with Sodom, both destroyed in judgment by God with fire from heaven
[from H6014]
KJV: Gomorrah.
Root(s): H6014
H6014 עָמַר
`amar (aw-mar’) v.
1. to gather (properly) apparently to heap,
2. to manipulate, deal tyrannically with (figuratively) to chastise (as if piling blows) to treat as a slave
3. specifically (as denominative from H6016) to bind sheaves, to gather grain
[a primitive root]
KJV: bind sheaves, make merchandise of.
See also: H6016
H6016 עוֹמֶר
`omer (o’-mer) n-m.
1. (properly) a heap, i.e. a sheaf
2. also an omer, as a dry measure
[from H6014]
KJV: omer, sheaf.
Root(s): H6014

So next time you go online, please keep in mind, that the endless need to connect and consume is a sign of a dependency to the desires of men, and possibly a growing wedge between you and God. After all, what you feed your head is often what you hunger for the most, and if you hunger for acceptance and attention, maybe you have lost who are and you are trying to find it in the approval of someone else. But, you can’t fill an empty void inside with empty time consuming things.

I am not saying sharing is a bad thing, in fact it can be a very healthy and good thing, but oversharing is a warning sign that something has gone horribly wrong in your spiritual life. So reevaluate what exactly it is that’s so important that you need to share it with everyone and not just a close personal friend. I also encourage you not to only share with your online “friends” but with real ones. Real friends take time and make efforts to be there in person, and to share in more than what is fun and popular. If you like someone, this means you learn to like what they like too, or at least try to appreciate the things that they like. Share their experiences with them in person, and not just click on a button and move on. After all, if it is important to them it should be important to you too… because they are important to you.

Life is often ugly, painful and it leaves a wake of misery in its path, and not all these things are fun or pretty. People need you to give them your time and your effort, and they need your real love, not your fake “likes”. Besides, there are also still some things that are only between you and your God.

Matthew 6:3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing
John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Sorry about the language.

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17 thoughts on “Expressing Your Beliefs: Beliefs Part 2”

  1. Thank you so much for following my blog. I have tried to keep up with you for the past 6 months. I wanted to say that all your posts leave me thinking…with edge..and I do appreciate it…I can’t wait to read your next post!

    –TheSamSlam

  2. Just like many things we do, there is a thin line between balance and falling off on the deep end when wondering about FaceBook, Twitter and other social media avenues. Of course social media can be use to connect and share good values but for many social media is allowing demons to creep in, I see it with my older daughter. It starts off as innocent as just linking to friends, then it turns into a compulsion of “liking”, “following”. Many are trying to find a social life on the internet and like this post said so brilliantly, a need to attach to man can place a divide between you and God. I had to reblog.

    1. Thank you for the reblog. I think it’s a message worth getting out into the hands of others and it goes nowhere unless it is shared by people like you. I also understand about your daughter and the youth of today thinking they need social media as a way to connect. Many of them are raised in a culture of technology and so they don’t see the differences in subtlety of real friends and online “friends”. It comes as seemingly innocence without malice in its intentions, but one is real and the other is only a perception like an illusion. It is something akin to the differences in Love vs. Lust. They have the same overall concept; both are a need and desire to connect with another person on an intimate level. Both involve a physical interaction. Both are based in a compulsion and desires. But that’s where Love and Lust stop being similar and the division begin. Love is without sin and it is an enduring flame. Lust is immediate, but it is fire that consumes all it touches and stains the soul in the ashes of ruin. One gives and the other takes away. Imagine you learn you will have a child born in love and the joy, honor and a lifetime of happiness that that news brings. Now imagine a child born in lust and the grief, shame and a lifetime of hardship that news brings.

      When your child, or pretty much anyone, makes “friends” online they are connecting with real people and these people do care for them on some level. In fact many may actually be real people that they know. But it is really more like a catalog of acquaintances than real friends. Acquaintances are good and nice but they amount to only so much when it comes to real life issues. Social media is a great way to share and keep people informed or stay connected when you are not able to be there in person, or prepare parties or events, but a reality check is often needed when it comes to thinking you are really amongst trusted friends. There is an old saying “Everyone is your brother, until the rent is due”. An acquaintance will pat you on the back and tell you how great you are when you score the winning touchdown, but a friend will be there even when the game is over and the bright lights fade. When the crowd goes home, a friend will stay to help you nurse the wounds you earned in trying to please the crowd that has already forgotten your name. A friend will be there years later when you are old and can’t remember your name from all the years of damage you did to your brain, all for the love of the game.

      The computer is nice, but it is only a tool. Real people are an asset and a necessity in life.

      God bless and thanks for the comment and for reading my blog,
      Daniel Lyons

      1. Okay, you hit the right place with your reply to the man who uses facebook for ministry. I do the same. You did good on your idea about using tools. I just wrote on my blog about letting other things become God. That’s the problem. Humans need God’s help to keep things in perspective. I’ve been working on and withholding a devotional on resisting demographics… being categorized and mediaized. I’m not sure where that’s going… but will work on it. All this trend worries me because we are buying into it and it’s building wedges – not bridges – between generations and races and religious thought and worship style. It’s praying on our needs to be accepted and special. Hmmm… maybe I’ll get back to work on that piece. Thanks..

  3. I agree with you on some level. I think we should express ourselves on some level. I’m in communications, so FB is important to my career (although, I’m starting to like Twitter more these days and will probably take over FB). But I use FB for not just for personal use for also for my non-profit work and my ministry and even my church. We use it to connect. I think it’s important to remember to go on once in awhile and check out our friends list and get rid of the people we don’t keep in touch with. I know I do. I know my boundaries, some people don’t which is unfortunate.
    As for sharing personal information… well the Bible says more about that as well, I share only what the Holy Spirit believes would help. But I believe it might help to shut my blog down soon anyway.

    1. All of what you said is great, there is nothing wrong with facebook, blogging or tweeting. It’s the perceptions that people have and how it is used. You use it as it is intended, as a tool and a way to stay connected. I love all that. And don’t fret too much about your blogging. Expressing yourself is very cathartic. It is a way to heal and grow by sharing. But measure the needs and wants of your sharing. If it’s presented in clean fun or a way to gather like-minded individuals in a group that brings joy its fine. If it is a way to bring healing, it’s fine. But when it becomes a nonstop broadcast of you and a need to feel important… then something has broken inside. All things come with balance. Too much of anything will weigh your spirit down on one side or the other, and the straight and narrow path is hard to walk because you will find yourself walking in circles. Just find the balance in the things you do and God will smile and favor it… always.
      Thanks for the comments and sharing :)

      Daniel Lyons

  4. Being a person who has never had a Facebook account, I really loved the video! Had me smilin’ the whole way through.

    “For do I now seek the favor of men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

    Thank you for the reminder to keep things “real”!

    1. Thank you for everytime I see you post a comment and reply. I love seeing how you read and grow from my posts. I love that you don’t just hear and walk away. You take a part of me with you… that is such an amazing gift to me. Keep strong and keep keeping on. :)

      1. This site has been such a blessing to me. I don’t think it was coincidence that I started reading at a time when I was spiritually stagnant, but knowing that the Bible held so much more than what I was being fed. I just didn’t know which way to go. You’ve helped me to reconnect with the scriptures in a way I never knew. One of these days I’ll have the time I need to give you a call and learn a bit more! :)

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