Just the Facts

OK…I’m not a fan of Facebook. I have seen very little conversation there that is spiritually uplifting or even just plain positive. The feeds are filled with arguing, complaining, bickering, and foolishness.

People post things to get others to feel sorry for them, to seek support to right the injustices in their lives, or simply lie about situations. Here’s the cycle: someone rants, someone agrees, someone disagrees, then the people agreeing and disagreeing turn on each other and the fight is on. As believers in Christ, engaging in this type of behavior just isn’t scriptural…on so many levels.

The book of Proverbs warns all of us about something very dangerous with this type of behavior. Let’s look at Proverbs 18:17 (NLT). Here’s what it says:

The first to speak in court sounds right – until the cross examination begins.

In other words, there are two sides to every story. Folks who go out on Facebook with their tale of woe seldom provide all the facts. They provide the side of the story that supports their position. This is what Proverbs is talking about. Most stories sound believable until the cross examination begins. If we knew all the facts of the situation it would make us re-evaluate our thoughts and be ashamed of some of our public comments.

I spent many years of my life as a police officer. I was in court almost every week. When a defendant first took the stand to testify, the stories often sounded very good. It wasn’t until the cross examination took place that defendants were caught in lies. Witnesses took the stand and provided evidence that contradicted the defendant’s testimony. Now the judge had both sides of the story and the evidence.

Next time you read something on Facebook, ask yourself about the other side of the story. If you don’t have all the facts, not the hearsay, don’t engage in discussions like this. They are divisive and certainly don’t model Godly character. Participating in discussions like this is gossip.

Here’s a thought…get off Facebook entirely and do something productive with the time that God has given you. Before we open Facebook for the day let’s instead open our Bibles and hear what God has to say. God doesn’t speak in status updates and we can’t expect to grow spiritually by spending our time there.

I’ll See If I Can Fit You On My Calendar

When is the last time God spoke to you? I know that question might sound a bit odd to you but shouldn’t you be having regular conversations with God? This is a relationship, right? In relationships we communicate so how is your communication going with God?

People often ask me this question: How do I know what God wants me to do? My response is the same. I simply ask folks, “What are you doing to hear God speak to you?”

In a world so full of email, texting, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the other technological ways to communicate, no wonder many of us are missing out on hearing God. We check our phone every time it dings for the latest status update but we won’t spend time with God.

Even the Psalmist, David, recognized the need to spend time talking with God. Psalm 27, verse 8 says this:

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

So how do we talk with God? Psalm 46, verse 10 gives us a great place to start the conversation. Here is what this verse tells us:

Be still and know that I am God.

Right there in that small verse is the key to the start of the conversation…be still. That means we need to intentionally set aside time to talk with God. That shouldn’t be a surprise to us. In our earthly relationships we make time to talk with folks. We get together for coffee, lunch, holidays or a variety of reasons just to talk and be together. David tells us we should be doing the same thing to talk with God.

It is in the stillness that you can begin to hear God speak with you. It is in that time that you set aside just to develop the relationship between you and God that you will hear Him speak.

So, be like David who desired to hear God’s voice and like David simply say, Lord, I’m coming. God, I want to hear your voice. Set aside time for the conversation and don’t let anything disturb that special time. You might be surprised by what you’ve been missing and by what God has to say.