Don’t jump to conclusions. “Lost in Facebook” is not an argument denouncing the evils of Social Media. But let’s face it, many of us have become lost in Facebook. We have chosen the shallow connections of distant encounters instead of meaningful conversation. We’ve become adept at crowing and crying about whatever is happening in our lives. Both of which become a strange ritual of pride as others “like” what we have posted. But the issue isn’t the tool but our attempts to boast our way to self-worth. That’s how many have become “lost in Facebook”; addicted to boastful shallowness like a child to cherry Lifesavers (I can eat a whole roll).
The Galatian church was in trouble. While planted well, other teachers had followed behind Paul to “correct” his mistakes. Where Paul preached freedom in Christ others came and proclaimed “yes, but”. Specifically that the non-Jewish believers needed to become more Jewish to be acceptable to God; they needed to become circumcised. In his letter to them, Paul denounced their legalism and called the Galatian church to return to freedom in Christ. Near the end of his argument, Paul writes, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14, NASB95)
Our only real boast is something we had nothing to do with, but means (or should mean) everything to us. Paul was explicit, his boast was “in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”. The cross, the place of atonement where my sins and your sins were paid for in full. The place where we exchange hate for love, fear for faith, rejection for adoption as sons and daughters, bitterness for forgiveness, shame for confidence, sorrow for joy, despair for hope, and death for life. The only part we play is in choosing to accept what Jesus has already done for us. We cannot earn it, steal it, or make it – we can only receive it.
Often though we choose another cross, that of self-pity. Did you know that self-pity is a form of boasting? It is like hoisting ourselves up on a cross to gain attention, sympathy, and pity from those around us. It is not just any old cross that Paul is boasting in, it is not a cross of our own making. It is the cross of “our Lord Jesus Christ”.
But we are pitiful wrecks at times, utterly unable to save ourselves. There is only one that can truly save us; only one that can pull us from the slimy pit. The world won’t, our family can’t, and our friends don’t have the strength, only Jesus can save us from the depths of our own folly and sin.
The cross of Jesus is not some philosophy, political ideology, method, or program but a real and vital one-on-one walk with God. We have no other gods, idols, kings, leaders, lords, shepherds, bosses, or ideals higher than the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in our life- not even ourselves. The cross of Jesus is our one and only boast.
Paul went on the say that, “the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” What this means is that we no longer gain value from what the world thinks or says about us. We are still in the world, we still interact and participate, but we no longer look for the world’s approval or its rescue. We are instead like ambassadors walking around a distant land; we look different, we talk different, and we act different – and that’s okay.
Boasting in the cross of Christ has more impact in our lives than just what we post or read on Facebook. The question is this — where do you get your value from? From the number of “friends” you have? From the number of “likes” you get? From the headcount of those that jump in the slimy pity of self-pity with you? From your successes? From your failures? From the stupidity and sin of others which makes us feel good about ourselves? We can quickly become “lost in Facebook”, lost in futile attempts to feel wanted and appreciated by others. My encouragement to you today is this: Ask God where in your life you are seeking “likes” instead of boasting in the Cross of Christ.