Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through four readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9th.
Day 1 by Aaron Conrad
“He allows no other god – not money, not success, not comfort or pleasure, not any other god by any other name.” –Live Second, xi.
The Live Second – 365 Ways to Make Jesus First daily reader kicks off with an introduction that drives home the entire focus of this project and our entire lives. As I read the reminder that “He allows no other god – not money, not success, not comfort or pleasure, not any other god by any other name”, I have to admit that I felt some conviction. Let me explain –
I love social media. I am fascinated by the connectivity of sites like Twitter and Facebook. This big old world becomes very small in a matter of clicks. Years away from friends can become seconds when you reunite on Facebook. There’s also a charge that comes from having someone famous (or the person that handles their account) “follow” you on Twitter. I was an early adopter of Twitter so I’ve witnessed the tremendous growth first hand. It’s just another thing. Or is it? A recent article in Time Magazine actually stated that Twitter and Facebook are more addicting than alcohol!
I don’t know if you’re like me, but I have addictive behaviors. I am willing to admit that things in my life that I find enjoyable can very easily become much more than that. They become obsessions. They take priority over much more important things. Something as simple as social media can have that effect. What I found was that before spending a moment with God each morning, I was checking the Twitter feed and Facebook stream. It became my first priority. Running up the number of “followers”, “friends” and “likes” became a drug and I had to have it. They became a god.
So what does God call us to? What place does God want in a social media driven world? Let’s take a look at what it took to “follow” Jesus when he walked this earth…
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” -Jesus in Luke 9:23
“And immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” –Matthew 4:22
See a pattern here? While these guys didn’t have Twitter (that I know of), they left things that were far more important. Jesus asked them to take up a cross. Forget self. Forget the priorities. Make Him the priority. Follow Him.
Am I suggesting that we should all abandon social media or ban our use of it for God? No, Not really. What I am suggesting is that we take an inventory. For me, to live Second means I must guard against placing social media and other things above God. He is First. No other gods before Him.
I love Twitter. I love the conversation. I love the connections. I see tremendous value in using it wisely. I have friendships that would have never happened if not for Twitter. The tension comes when I have anxiety over the numbers or place its importance over following Christ in my daily walk. Here’s my takeaway:
Forget your follower count. Forget finding your value from how many people “follow you”.
Find your value in following the One that matters most.
Take up your cross. Follow Him.
Next for the 60-Days-of-Second:
Day 2- “The Day I Missed My Moment” by Aaron Conrad
Follow Aaron Conrad at www.aaronconrad.com.