Now I want to talk to you about social media, this picture and the Christian walk. I know a lot of people have written a lot about this topic but I want to take some time and share a general principle in the context of my family's life. Please read through as I get to the point.
Jenn Kujawa did a great job of working with our family during a cooler fall day. She even got Joel to show his teeth when he smiled and that is a huge thing.
But I want to talk about the black/white, crazy family picture. If you have done family pictures formally or not so formally you have probably done a "crazy" family picture. They are usually fun and sometimes even turn out good. I love that one of us.
Here is where I get real honest. That picture is "crazy" but it is not nearly as out of control as life sometimes seems and is in our home. The "craziness" in our house is not as picturesque as that nice b/w photograph. Tears are shed. Voices are raised. Temper tantrums are thrown. And those are just some of the things I do.
In our social media culture it is real easy to go to the extremes.
Share wonderful, beautiful pictures and talk about how perfect life is.
According to their posts, they appear to have no problems, challenges or difficulties. Things seem to always work out just the right way in just the right time. And by right way and time I mean the way they wanted things to work out at the time they wanted them done.
Blast anybody and anything that doesn't make me happy.
Everyone in the world seems to be against this person's happiness. The bus driver, the older couple in the parking lot, the cashier, the cook, the waitress, the government, the pastor, the neighbor, that guy who sings that song "Happy." They are all plotting against this person.
If you cannot think of someone that falls into these two categories, there is a good chance YOU are one of the two. (O.K. that was meant to funny but with a hint of truth. )
Our communication with others on social media, in a small group or at church is not meant to show that we have it all under control.
Our communication wherever we are needs to show people the hope we have in our BIG God and our GREAT Savior Jesus.
I am thankful for skilled photographers like Jenn Kujawa, Sarah Kraft, Whitney Keeler, Bill Carr, Amy Kelly and Tim Benedict and others I may have forgotten who have done a phenomenal job of capturing "moments" and making my family look good in print and digitally.
I am even more thankful for an AMAZING LIFE CHANGING GOD who makes Himself look good in our lives. In the good, not so good and bad.
I am thankful that while I was weak, powerless and His enemy, He showed His tremendous love by sending His Son to die for my sin (Romans 5:6 - 8)
I am thankful that on my best days, I still need God and His grace in my life.
Our social media status, our prayers, our attitudes and our interactions with others should reflect this Jerry Bridges quote:
"Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."
As I look at that "crazy" picture of my family and think about all the "likes" and comments it has received on facebook, I smile.
Part of the smile is because of how cute the picture is.
But most of the smile is because it reminds me of God's grace in the life of my family.
As a father, I have the awesome responsibility of pointing my kids and wife to Jesus Christ.
While at the same time realizing I fail in my own walk with God.
BUT in the pointing and walking, I need to be actively depending upon God's strength, wisdom and love.
As a pastor, I have an even greater responsibility of helping other families and individuals grow in their personal relationships with Jesus while growing in their relationships with other members of the church.
There are times when I know I fail in these tasks
BUT I also know I need to keep pressing on, seeking the Lord and seeking to grow in those areas I fall short.
There are times when I think a better representation of our family would be
Joel and Josiah at each others throats.
Jadyn laying on the floor crying.
Krista looking at me with a "What are we going to do now?" look.
And me pulling out my hair!
While I know that picture may not get very many likes or cute comments,
I do know that God is the one I need to be looking towards each and every day!
I want people to know that...
I don't have it all together
I am not falling apart
I am trusting in the One who created the world.
I am trusting in the One who defeated death and gives life.