So the other day, I saw where Facebook wanted to send me a message. I clicked on the little bell and got this:
Improve my reputation? I didn’t even know I had a reputation–at least not on Facebook. Sheesh. One MORE thing to worry about.
Social media, as we know, is not my best sport.
On Twitter, for instance, I recently heard from a blogger who wanted to know where I’d gone to college. I tweeted right back (I was On it!, that day): I went to U.Va.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that tweet, per se. And normally a sentence like that makes me proud. What went wrong, in this case, is that I tweeted my answer to everyone. Like, to all of Twitter. Now the whole world (even the people who don’t give a rip, which is all of them) knows that I WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA!
(Who knew there was a way to keep your tweet convos private?)
(Probably everyone. But still.)
And don’t even get me started on Instagram. I set up an account a long time ago, and I was getting pretty comfy on that platform. Until Virginia saw me looking at my phone.
“You can’t like your own Insta.”
(Is there an Emily Post book for social media? I feel like if I just knew the rules, I could do better at not breaking them.)
(But not really. Because even if I had an etiquette book, I think I’d still wonder: What’s so bad about liking your own Instagram? Isn’t there an entire shelf in Barnes & Noble about learning to love yourself?? Should we not all like our Instas? Seems like that would be healthy.)
All of these whoopsies–and so many more, like the podcast I did where I didn’t know we were recording for the first FIFTEEN MINUTES–point to a couple key truths:
First, God is so good.
God knew we’d blow it–and not just on social media. He knew we’d stink it up in our marriages, our parenting, our finances, and in so many more areas where we try (and fail) to do the right thing. And so he gave us an answer. “My grace is sufficient for you,” he promises, “for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) God has us covered. Nothing we do can make him love us any less. In fact, our failings–humbly acknowledged, and with gratitude for his redemptive intervention–act as magnets for his mercy. (Don’t believe me? Check out James 4:6, Psalm 51:17 and, most especially, Romans 8:38-39.)
And second, God is hilarious. I can’t point to any particular verse that says “God is really funny” (Psalm 2:4 says he laughs, but in that case, it’s not a sound that you really want to hear), but there’s definitely some good and joyful merry-making in the Bible (see Psalm 126:2 for starters, or consider the fact that Sarah literally named her kid “He laughs”). And even without passages like these, I figure that God has GOT to have a good sense of humor, since he has has put up with us for so long. Since he has put up with me.
And that, according to social experts, is critical. I saw a few minutes of a show about Speed Dating last week (I was trying to find a U.Va. Basketball recap on SportsCenter, but I am not good with remotes), and the number one most attractive quality in a person is (singles say) a good sense of humor. God has one. We should, too.
So next time you blow it, here are two things you can do. First, don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh, if you can.
And second (because sometimes blowing it is not at all funny), remember God’s grace. It’s for all of us. And it’s what God does best. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
That’s the Apostle Paul talking, but heck. It might as well be me. There are definitely days when I feel like THE WORST. (And not just in the social media world.)
But that’s okay. Because nothing–as in, nothing–can separate us from God’s love.
Tweet THAT, America.