Facebook has become a useful tool for communication and relationship building. At the same time it is a double-edged sword.
Positive: There are now more tools available than ever before for the missionary to remain in contact with family and friends. Skype, Facetime, Instagram, Google tools and Twitter aid in connection with those on another continent.
Negative: Some people have expressed their concern for younger missionaries when they see in real time what they are "missing". Watching your friends and peers at their baby showers, at the ball park - all in just about real time can create a heart of envy and lonliness unless one stays alert and guards against it. Additionally, words sometime do not convey the full story and emotions and lead to wrong impressions.
Personally, I have noticed that I can view cherished colleagues and their experiences or ministries I have thought from time-to-time: I would not do that. While I suppose that we all do that, what right do I have to judge - even if only in my heart - the actions of another?
4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.
8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;
11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
It boils down to an issue of grace. Just because I am a recipient of grace does not automatically mean my heart dispenses grace. Paul's reminder is timely and helpful.
While viewing the photos and comments in social media, it is a good reminder to my own heart what Charles Swindoll writes: "Believing in grace is one thing. Living it is another."
Legalism is a wedge that destroys relationships and alienates affections.
Note to self: Keith, choose to be a person of grace by taking joy in the freedom of others.