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5 Reasons I’m giving up social media during Lent

People talk about all sorts of things you can give up during Lent. For the past three months, I’ve sensed that it would be spiritually upbuilding for me to take a break – a sabbath of sorts – from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. In the past, I’ve utilized my blog and social media as a tool for inviting others to be God-focused throughout Lent (my series of posts last year entitled “40 Days” are an example of this). However, I think I need to do something different this year.

So, I’m giving up social media during Lent and here’s five reasons why…

  1. From Distracted to Present: My daily routines are often filled with many things. I have rhythms that shape my days, some related to daily time with God, some related to work activities, and some related to happenings with family and friends. In the midst of all these things, I also give a lot of attention to social media. This allows me to stay connected to people and the world around me through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. I love this but sometimes I become distracted. Sometimes I become more than temporarily distracted but become characteristically distracted. I sense the need to take a different routine than that for a while so that I can be fully present with people. Hopefully, this season will enable me to grow deeper into Psalm 86:11, “give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
  2. Turning Off the Information Tap: Social media makes me aware of so many things I might not otherwise know,and this is good and bad. I know about events in Somalia and Ukraine faster than ever, so I’m motivated to pray. I read up on the latest research about learning styles or urban life, and it shapes how I approach my work. I can keep up with distant friends and relatives’ lives and loves each day. So much of this information is fun and intellectually stimulating. At other times, I feel like I’m too informed about too many things without actually being able to think or consider what that information means. During Lent, I am stepping away from social media in order to intentionally limit what comes into my mind. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
  3. Cultivating Appropriate Quiet:: When we take something away during Lent, true spiritual transformation only happens when we put something of value in its place. The corollary to turning off the information tap is cultivating appropriate quiet. If I am going to reduce the flow of connectivity and information, then I must intentionally replace it with another practice. This season of 40 days is intended to stop th high level of connection to others so that I can live from the center of things and have needed space for reflection. Lent is a good time to live into the words of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
  4. Less Self-Consciousness: By its very nature, social media is centered on the presentation of facts, photos, questions, or information related to ourselves or our interests. Because of that, social media makes me more conscious of how I present myself to others. While that may be good in some ways, that self-centered presentation at times serves to reinforce my own tendencies toward stultifying self-consciousness and people-pleasing that are neither helpful for me nor honoring to God. Lent is a good time to step back from that self-consciousness in order to become more God-conscious. I believe that stepping away from social media during this season will be a good practical practice for me in that direction. I hope it will help me to grow in Jesus’ summary statement of God’s desires for us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27).
  5. From Hearing Voices to Hearing God’s Voice: With all the voices coming my way through social media, whether friends or various colleagues or news feeds, my inner mind often feels like cavern reverberating with the echoes of others’ words. It becomes harder to reflect and, many times, harder to hear God’s voice. Lent is intended to be a focused time for self-reflection, repentance, and purification under the penetrating voice and astute hand of God. It is my aim that consciously eliminating some of those voices for a season helps me to hear and respond to God more truly and vigorously. The prophets constantly called the people to just this, as Hosea declared: “Hear the word of the Lord” (Hosea 4:1).

I will continue to post on my blog occasionally, which automatically posts to my social media accounts. However, I will not be active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram from Ash Wednesday (March 5) through Resurrection Sunday (Easter, April 20). If you need to contact me, please email me.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in My Spiritual Journey

 

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||40days|| week one: a journey

Today we begin a journey. A forty day journey to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is a journey that mirrors the forty days when rain fell on the earth to purge it from sin and injustice, while Noah and his family were saved in the ark (Genesis 7:12).

It is a journey that recalls us to the forty years when the people of Israel wandered in the desert because of their disobedience and distrust of God (Deuteronomy 29:5).

It is a journey that returns us to the forty days when Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested and tried by the evil one in preparation for His ministry (Mark 1:13).

In this ||40days|| journey, we are preparing ourselves for the joys of Easter by having a deeper experience of the Cross. Like Noah, it is a time of rescue from sin. Like Israel, it is a time of purification from wrongs. Like Jesus, it is a time to come back to the word of God and resist the evil one.

Traditionally, this journey is called Lent, and begins today on Ash Wednesday. Traditional Lenten disciplines are fasting, prayer, and giving. Thus, we can see the movement from abstaining from something (fasting), turning to God (prayer), and putting another discipline in its place (giving). That being said, there are all sorts of ways that we can enter into this journey to the Cross of Christ.

Will you take the ||40days|| journey?

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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Noontime Prayer During Lent at Eastbrook Church

Beginning tomorrow, Ash Wednesday (February 22), we are hosting noontime prayer gatherings at Eastbrook Church every Wednesday during Lent. We have scheduled prayer for 12:00-12:35pm in the worship hall with the space open for quiet prayer or reflection until 1:00pm.

This is a great opportunity to deepen your walk with Christ through prayer in community.

Join us here tomorrow!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Discipleship, Eastbrook

 

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What Is It?: Ash Wednesday and Lent

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the traditional season of Lent, a 40-day journey (minus Sundays) toward Easter.

Some may ask, what is Lent all about? Lent is more than a worn-out tradition of the old-school church marked by self-absorbed sorrow and meal-skipping. Rather, Lent is our journey into greater depths of life with Jesus Christ. The 40-day journey reminds us of Jesus’ 40-day temptation in the desert before starting his public ministry. It reminds us of the people of Israel led by Moses through the wilderness for 40 years before entering the promised land. We enter into Jesus’ journey toward, into, and through the Cross. It is Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in My Spiritual Journey

 

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