I’m Listening

“Look carefully and listen slowly and pay attention.” Twice the LORD gave Ezekiel these instructions when showing him the plans for rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.

The Lord has not called me–at least not as far as I can discern–to start measuring the lengths of walls. But I believe he has called me–has called all of us–to be people who rebuild, restore, and repair what is broken in the world around us. And it’s that very call that motivates me to lean in close–to “look carefully, listen closely and give attention”–so that I do not miss his directions for me or misconstrue what he has to say.

I believe he has called me–has called all of us–to be people who rebuild, restore, and repair what is broken in the world around us.

In particular, I’m leaning in to listen to what he would say to me about my engagement with social media.

For nearly a decade I have wrestled with the concept of platform-building. I’ve had editor-friends offer me theological rationales for it. I have a sense of the market trends that would seem to make it necessary. I have been told that I don’t have to be a standout on multiple platforms–simply having a presence on Twitter would do.

But the theological rationales have left me wanting. The market trends make me ask, “What’s the third way? What’s the other option we haven’t considered yet?” And most of what I see on Twitter causes desolation as opposed to consolation or inspiration. Some of that could be due to my own self-righteousness. But some of that is due to a lack of charity and some to too many people playing the role of prophet.

I have many friends who engage social media well, many who have done the work of posting true and beautiful content week after week after week. Some have beautiful paradigms for seeing their social networks as a place to offer hospitality. Some seek to offer spiritual counsel. Others, spiritual care.

But my conscience is not clear about my engagement, despite all of these frameworks for wise practice.

This morning, I came across a quote in a completely unrelated Christianity Today article that captures my inner turmoil about social media: “‘To what degree am I being influenced by what Jesus wants me to do or to what degree am I internalizing or reflecting what the broader society says I should prioritize?'”

When it comes to posting on social media to whom am I listening? Am I listening to the Christian publishing industry? Or am I listening to the voice of God?

Am I listening to the voice of God?

Perhaps God will ultimately tell me that the social media presence is the way. But until I have more clarity on that, I am hesitant to walk in it. Since Christmas, I’ve posted very little on social media. My Buffer queue has been empty for weeks. I have alotted no time for developing a content strategy. And while I am filling the pages of a notebook with thoughts that I could post, I question whether or not I should.