By Tami Heim
Click on your favorite social media site and it’s easy to dismiss your digital impression as just a blip on the screen. Be warned, however, there’s danger in that kind of thinking. Go too far and the next thing you know, fear and insecurity show up. When you discount your influence online, you deny God’s ability to work through you. Remember, you’re a precious original. He’s made you one of a kind. You’re gifted to do good work and that includes online.
Your consistency, whole-hearted commitment, and dedication to being completely what God created you to be illuminates the way for others. It also builds up and strengthens the whole body of Christ.
And that’s why there’s more
God designed you to compliment and complete others. Deliberately commissioned, you’re here as a member of His body to accomplish His plan for this generation. When you decide to live out your faith online, fully live it out; God’s progress is radically accelerated.
In chapter 12 of Paul’s letter to the Romans, you find the practical action plan for how to live and be. All of it’s applicable to you, online. Offer back to God the best of what He has put in you and your lives individually and collectively become a living sacrifice and a holy act of worship. It’s a beautiful thing and the consequences are eternal.
Paul instructs us how to live and be
1. Submit everything. (Vs. 1,2)
- Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering
- Embrace what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him
- Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking
- Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
- Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it
2. Celebrate the gifts in others. (Vs. 5,6)
So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
3. Give your gifts. (Vs.6-8)
- If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else
- If you help, just help, don’t take over
- If you teach, stick to your teaching
- If you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy
- If you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate
- If you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond
- If you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
4. Keep it real. (Vs. 9,10)
- Love from the center of who you are
- Don’t fake it
- Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good
- Be good friends who love deeply
- Practice playing second fiddle
5. Find His pace. (Vs. 11-13)
- Don’t burn out
- Keep yourselves fueled and aflame
- Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant
- Don’t quit in hard times
- Pray all the harder
6. Create harmony. (Vs. 11-19)
- Help needy Christians
- Be inventive in hospitality
- Bless your enemies
- No cursing under your breath
- Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy
- Share tears when they’re down
- Get along with each other
- Don’t be stuck-up
- Make friends with nobodies
- Don’t be the great somebody
- Don’t hit back
- Discover beauty in everyone
- If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody
- Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do
Today’s conversation starters:
- What are some of the ways you see people using their unique gifts online?
- How do others strengthen you and the rest of the body by living out their faith online?