So, about a year and a half ago, I got sick and tired of the Land of Hostility that we more commonly refer to as “Facebook”. It finally clicked in for me, “Hey, maybe this is what they WANT, to keep us polarized as enemies.”
When I did a little digging (I found some former FB coders who were willing to go on record), they confirmed that yeah, FB is engineered to keep you there, and keep you agitated. Controversy and nastiness are rewarded and reinforced.
Let me cut to the chase – Facebook is designed and operated as a form of social conditioning.
At that point I wisely opted out.
Not totally out. I kept my account, mostly because I have a ton of pictures there that I am too lazy to move to storage, and just turned off all FB notifications to my devices.
Something interesting to note is that my phone does not allow me to delete the FB app off the device. I’m sure that must be just a weird coincidence.
So anyways, with the best I could do being shut off the notifications, I quickly discovered that without Facebook constantly reminding me to check my newsfeed, I never actually went there.
Never thought about it.
Never missed it.
Never looked back.
Until last week when I had something cool that I wanted to share and promote. It was on behalf of some friends.
And so of course I automatically scrolled through my newsfeed while I was there – it’s crazy how the conditioning kicks right back in! – and reposted a little meme I liked.
And then all hell broke loose.
I’m not gonna go into the specifics, it was just something that I thought was non-contro ersial, but turns out is actually heinously racist, and people lost their minds.
I briefly allowed myself to get dragged into it and then thought, “What are you doing? Why are you engaging with this nonsense??” I bowed out.
The after effects of the incident have been disconcerting for me. I have been agitated and out of sorts ever since. I wanna be left alone, I wanna pick a fight. Above all, I have this powerful sense of self-righteous indignation, this need to justify my beliefs and vindicate myself before others.
I think that’s a natural inclination, to protest when one has been unfairly characterized. I get it. But I don’t like it. I don’t like what it does to my thoughts, what it does to my emotions, what it is capable of doing to my physiology, making me feel shaky and a little nauseous.
I want to lash out at these people, tell them they’re wrong, tell them they’re awful, tell them they are hurting people.
I penned a post yesterday to get the poison out. Though my attackers will likely never see it, I said every self-justifying thing I wanted to say, just got it all out. Published it. And then got on my knees and repented of it.
Because I KNOW what self-righteousness is, I know what self-justifying means.
I have been Christ-justified.
I no longer rely on my own justification. My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
HIS righteousness. A good and perfect righteousness like no other. Why on earth would I want to fall back to my own puny works and justifications?
It’s funny, that there on my knees I suddenly felt ashamed of that post, no longer seeing it as a declaration of justification, but more like a confession of sin.
I guess in a funny kind of way it is. It is all true, it is what I believe about myself in the deep part of my heart. That I am good enough all on my own. Oh sure, I might give God some credit for giving me his precepts, even for creating me as I am, but there’s a part of me that believes I deserve some of the credit. That is the truth. Lord, forgive me.
The antidote to those who would slander and malign me is not found in false righteousness; the return to peace that I so desperately seek is found only in forgiveness.
Lord, forgive those who have hurt and tarnished me. They probably don’t even realize they are sinning against me. Have mercy on them, Lord. Please don’t hold them accountable for what they don’t even know, okay? If not for my sake, then for your Son’s. And please Lord, may I have an extra measure of grace? I have a feeling I’m going to need a lot of it in the days to come.
Update: Shortly after publishing this, I settled down with my Kindle to pick up where I left off in Has American Christianity Failed? A page or so into my reading I came upon this, which says it so much better than I did. Enjoy!
Quote from “Has American Christianity Failed?” by C. Bryan Wolfmueller –
“Because we are forgiven by Jesus, we are set free from the need to self-justify. There is no need to justify our existence or our actions, to ourselves, to God, or to our neighbor. You are already justified. The righteous One, the Son of God who sits at the right hand of the Father, declares you righteous through the spoils of His victorious death and resurrection. This means you have nothing to prove. Think of that! God loves you, and this gives you the freedom and courage to risk a good work, to suffer and die for the neighbors God has given you.”
Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/3biShBL
3 thoughts on “Father, Forgive Them, For They Know Not What They Do”
A big Amen to your prayer. I also spend days away from social media to try to reduce the stress level in my life. J.
I didn’t realize how stressed it made me until I got away from it for a while.
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Ah, yes, the value of fasting in the Christian life. Truly, there is a They who wants us all to be riled up and afraid. Getting out from under their thumb and enjoying the freedom of life in the Gospel is essential for us all. J.
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