So many Christians leave Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels for their Lenten devotion or fast. With the purpose of Lent being to rededicate our lives to God and grow in holiness, I understand why so many fast from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more for Lent. Our social media feeds these days are full of darkness, sadness, and temptation. They are far from the original purpose of the platforms to bring community together.
Pope Benedict said in his message for World Communications Day 2013, “Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important.” He continued. “Social networks… also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships.” This is part of the reason why I dedicate my time to sharing the Good News online. I believe in my call as a Christian to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS – even those who reside on what Pope Benedict named, the “digital continent.”
Instead of giving up Facebook or Twitter or Instagram for Lent, what if all of us who are frustrated with the tone of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (and others) do something about it? What if we TOOK BACK our social media feeds? What if we gave our friends, followers, and community something positive to respond to this Lent?
Would we make a difference? I believe it is worth trying!
Rather than fast from social media for Lent, Lets flood it with God’s love, mercy, and goodness!
I propose each of us post and engage in a way during Lent that reflects God’s love. No complaining or negativity, no arguing. Lots of love, support, and encouragement.
Lent is comprised of three pillars. Fasting, Almsgiving, and Prayer. So here is my Lenten Social Media Challenge incorporating all three foundations of Lent.
Fasting – “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” Fast from all negativity online. If you see petty arguing or complaining in your feed, keep scrolling. Don’t read it and don’t engage with it. If you feel the temptation to argue/complain/ or be ugly online, DON’T. Find a way to remove yourself immediately and do something positive.
Almsgiving – “Even the smallest interactions we have with others every day profoundly affect our relationships, productivity, health and longevity.” Give to others by shining God’s Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness brightly this Lent. Comment with Love on your friend’s posts. Highlight a good work done by someone or an organization. Reach out to a friend on social media and post a lovely memory or sincere comment. Share a funny or corny meme to make others LOL. If you’re not sure what to post, consider sharing a picture of your dog, your child, a beautiful day, or throwback pictures of you from decades past.
Prayer – “Pray for one another.” Pray for each person you encounter online or all of your followers. Encourage others to pray by sharing a bit of your interior life in an authentic way. (Share a quote, scripture, prayer) Send a direct message to a friend letting them know you are praying for them that day.
So, my challenge to myself and to you – Post EVERYDAY something that Shines the light of God’s Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness brightly online. Fill your social media feed with goodness. Lift up and encourage one another.
Instead of fasting FROM social media. Bring the light, the joy, the hope to others ON Social Media.
People always say that if Christians truly lived the faith they profess to believe, the world would be completely different. This year our Lenten challenge is to approach our Pillars of Lent with new perspective. Profess and live what you believe through the authenticity of your actions online that shine the brightness of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.
Will you join with me to take over social media for Lent?