May 27, 2021
The other day I noticed a friend had shared a post on Facebook involving a “true story” about a disabled U.S. military veteran, and the original post encouraged people to share the story so that the veteran could see that people cared about his situation. I have no idea if the story is true, or if the person featured actually exists, but the original post had been shared over 1 million times. I am sure anyone who is on Facebook has seen similar posts imploring you to share a post so that it will either go viral, or continue to spread on the internet. Some people feel compelled to share these posts, while I usually just take a quick look at the post and move on in my Facebook feed. Yesterday, I noticed a different friend had shared a post that contained a picture of Jesus, and asked people to share this post if they are not afraid to publicly show their belief in Jesus. The original post of the picture of Jesus only had about one thousand shares. What does it say about our society when more than 1000 times more people are willing to share an unverifiable story, than a picture of Jesus? Perhaps people who saw the picture of Jesus just do not share posts on Facebook, maybe they think Facebook is not the best place to share their faith in Jesus, or maybe they are concerned what their Facebook “friends” will think of them if they admit they believe in Jesus.
We read Jesus’s words in Luke, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26. Is not sharing a picture of Jesus on Facebook the same as being ashamed of Jesus and his words? Perhaps we need to dig deeper and see why people do not share a post like that. Is it because they just never post anything on Facebook, so not sharing this post is just par for the course, or are they afraid that people would view them differently if they admit that they are a follower of Christ? If the latter, does it not show that at some level there is a bit of shame, or at least fear, of being publicly associated with Jesus? This does not need to have anything to do with Facebook or the internet either, as there are many times we have had an opportunity to share our faith with others, but for whatever reason, we kept quiet. As Jesus said, “what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” Luke 9:25. It can be difficult and uncomfortable to share our faith in Jesus. We live in a society that now looks down on the faithful, that judges someone who admits to being a believer by standards that no human can live up to, and that simply does not want to take the time to even listen about Jesus. Jesus tells us to “take up our cross daily follow Me.” We need to be willing to tell others about Jesus, and not be concerned if society does not approve of these actions. We need to make sure we are never ashamed to share our belief, even as society becomes more openly hostile to hearing about Jesus!