Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

9.16.2011

Man Courting

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There’s an old Ma and Pa Kettle episode of which I have memories as grainy as the video was. But the hilariousness stuck in my head: the family had wormed their way into a predicament in which they described their farm as elaborate and extravagent in correspondence with an important person whom they wanted to impress. Of course, the day came when this person set out to pay them a visit, so the Kettle family found themselves in a dilemma. They scrambled to work on their only option: fix up some impressive facades to give their farm a much-needed facelift. Barn, outbuildings, the works—all outlandishly made of cardboard. They looked strikingly real until they all melted away in the rain that inevitably fell the day the visitor came, and the outrageousness only made the situation all the more hilarious.

I hadn’t thought of that episode in a long time, but last Sunday when I read Ephesians 6:6, I began to meditate on that idea of a fa├žade. In that verse, Paul writes,

“Not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”

Using Strong’s concordance, the original language conveys the idea, “Not with sight-labor as man-courting, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the spirit.” There are numerous crevices in my life that this verse sheds light on, but the internet specifically leaped into my mind when I heard this verse.

The internet is full, and I mean jam-packed, of cardboard facades. The internet is, by nature, focused on eyeservice and sight-labor since people only see of you what you want them to see, and not what you don’t want them to see. The internet is innately centered around man-pleasing and man-courting as comments, followers, friends, likes, and re-tweets become the number one priority, the judge of our success and worth. We laugh at the foolishness of the Kettles. But when it comes right down to it, strip away all the computer screens, grandiose words, and retouched photos from this vast world wide web, and you’ll be left with people, now empty-handed, all sinners in need of grace, and most of them guilty of eyeservice.

You’ll also quickly discover just how short-lived and temperamental men-pleasing is. The internet is easily training us to care too much what other people think, to purr when we’re petted and hiss when we’re kicked. I have to honestly ask, if our activities on the internet were not focused on men-pleasing, would petting elate us so much or kicking hurt so badly?

“So Lauren, what are you saying? That the internet is evil? That you recently got burned by an internet acquaintance?” None of the above, actually. But the result of all my thinking lately has finalized some conclusions in my mind.

  1. If I am trying to impress people online, then I am literally trying to stamp my image on them. By definition, this is humanism. I must repent of this sin and impress on others only the image of Christ, pressing His words deep into their hearts.
  2. Man-courting is so transient, so shallow, so unsatisfying. Encouragement, edification, and fellowship are all godly motives, but I must take care that my motive does not slide into the realm of currying favor and earning popularity.
  3. If I am a bondservant of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, then my blogging and internet activities have to be in obedience to Him, with the goal of pleasing only Him. What social standing have slaves? None at all, except what the Master gives them. Therefore, if we blog about what God has been teaching us or share a praise to His glory, it is to His glory alone, and the response or lack thereof is in His omnipotent hands. Even if no one reads what I wrote, that matters not a whit if I am writing it as a bondservant of Christ, doing His will from my heart.

Ask yourself with me, “Do my reactions and activities on the internet reveal a heart focused on sight-labor to court the fawning of others, or a heart unreservedly enslaved to the will of  
 God?”






Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes!
    Blessings,
    Aimee

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  2. This makes me think of a story I heard once (don't know if it was true or not, though). It was about some disabled/handicapped boy who had basically no friends in real life because of his special needs. On some internet social network, he didn't have a picture of himself or reveal any of those personal details, and everyone thought he was the coolest guy ever!

    I know that story is turning your point around, but it made me think of it.

    Your thoughts are obviously highly relevant today. I thank you for proclaiming the need for truth even in blogging. God's truth covers ALL areas.

    God bless you!

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  3. thank you for this Lauren! what a good biblical reminder...I had not thought about it being a form of humanism before but that is quite true!

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  4. Thought provoking and much needed. Thank you!

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  5. Indeed, much needed for me as well. All my best!

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  6. Lauren, This is something I think about every time I sit down to write a blog or post a message on FB. Hence why I haven't written a blog in a while. I'm still waiting for my heart to write to glorify God. Great post and great points...very nice job gently encouraging us and pointing us in the right direction. All glory to God

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  7. Thank you for this Lauren. These are some very good thoughts. There is much more that I could add, and I'm sure you could too, about the ways that the internet turns us away from Godly activity and obedience. Every Christian should very thoughtfully and prayerfully consider their internet lifestyle.

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