Originally posted on the UMC Lent Madness blog
I’m a stereotypical Millennial these days. So what else would I be doing on my lunch break than scrolling through Twitter? I couldn’t tell you. As I’m making my way to the most recent tweets, I scan for good blog posts, funny jokes, or something inspiring. Usually, I’m impressed, leading me to click on tons of cool stories from Relevant or Thought Catalog. (I can never get enough of the “15 ways you know” type posts.) However, there are some days when I have to reevaluate what I’m reading, and what I’m choosing to expose myself to. If it gets bad enough, I have no choice but to make the way towards the ‘unfollow’ button and click it.
We need to be careful who and what we follow. Not just in social media terms, but in real life. In high school, we chose our friends, and then were grouped and categorized based on we hung out with. In my high school, there were the skiers, tree-huggers, and the ‘bro’s’, just to name a few. The people and the lifestyle you chose to channel yourself towards was how you were seen by everyone else.
I hate to break it to you folks, but we’re basically in high school still. In our world today, we are most certainly seen in terms of our group, social class, or physical appearance. I see super fit people at the gym, and judge them, assuming that they’re skinny without trying. This causes a sad hatred-esque feeling towards all people who are in shape. I’ve also subconsciously locked my door when pulling up at a stoplight next to a homeless person holding a sign. I must have this feeling somewhere that all people without homes are scary or threatening. It’s a sad reality, but no matter who we are, we are seen by others not for who we are, but who and what we surround ourselves with–who we follow.
Though we claim to be an equal opportunities type society, it’s not hard to see the harsh reality of it all. It’s about who you know and who you hang around. It’s about the places you are seen in and all the company name dropping you can load up your resume with.
We live in a society where being around the wrong people or situations can be costly, just as the right people create better outcomes. In the Christian bubble, it’s all too much the same. One little thing you post on Facebook out of anger could be one less family that attends your church. A skirt that’s a bit too short means there’s no way you could be a Christian. A bad word spoken in a public place is a sign that the next time you walk into church, it’ll probably catch on fire. Maybe they’re dramatic examples, but you get the point.
We have to be careful who we follow, and what we follow, too.
Let me give you a simple solution; follow Jesus.
Not only does this mean following Jesus, Son of God, Talladega Nights prayer Baby Jesus, but also those who follow the God you know and love. Finding people around us who have a relationship with God and who seek God in all they do is such an important element of being us, the body of Christ. Having friends who lift us up, encourage positivity, and tell us when we screw up helps us to strengthen the relationship we have with God. I can tell you it’s done wonders for me, and without these people in my life, I definitely wouldn’t be as committed to God.
So next time you hit up your local Twitter profile, think about what would happen if you clicked on Jesus’ profile. Who would his followers be? And would your followers be the same as God’s?