One day I decided to participate in the social media phenomenon. That day my eyes were opened to the fact that it was true, my moves were being recorded. We all see the cameras hanging from traffic lights, so this should have been no surprise, but what I didn’t understand was that any minute of every day, my keystrokes were sending computers everywhere very personal information about me.
This actually isn’t just about me. It’s about us, it’s about you. After my ministry website hit some milestones, I upgraded to add services to the site, like a search engine and more statistics regarding its user activity. There were lots of stats. It took me months to start to utilize them, one by one. I was surprised to find out that I could know who opened my twice-monthly emails, thanks to the email service. I also can see what articles they open, how frequently, when, exactly. It’s all there in the archive, in case I want to see a history.
Who knew? I certainly wouldn’t, if it weren’t for these stats.
Are you on any emailing lists? It’s improbable that anyone takes personal offense at your personal response, or lack of response. What most stats are used for is marketing. The larger the company or organization, the more important your information is to them, thus the incentives that we are offered, such as being entered into drawings for prizes, when we sign up. Facebook, Instagram and the like are statistical goldmines. Our on-line histories determine some of the ads and posts that show up on our private laptops. It’s actually quite amazing what they can figure out about us. Companies have shared printed subscription and consumer information for decades. This is that same process, astronomically multiplied.
The woman interviewed was well aware of the potentially dangerous power her company held. Business was booming.
I answer to someone much more powerful than Amazon, Google or Face Book. Their databases may have all of my important numbers and stats, but they aren’t a threat to me. My true concern is the other massive file that exists on me. This file records my experiences, my reactions and my heart’s desires. A similar file exists on you. It's bigger than any collection of information that you may have on yourself. You aren’t capable of personally keeping track of the intricate things that are recorded about you. Here are some questions to illustrate how little you know about your actions;
1. How many thought-provoking or funny memes have you shared on social media?
2. How many Bible verses or portions of Scripture are you able to comfort a friend with if the Holy Spirit prompts you to do so?
3. How many recipes have you printed off of social media?
4. How many ministries do you support with prayer, encouragement and finances?
5. How much money have you spent on cell phone and online subscription services?
6. How much encouragement, time and help have you given to widows and orphans?
7. How much time do you spend on social media?
8. How much time do you spend in God’s presence, worshipping Him or seeking His wisdom for your life?
9. How many judgements have you made politically, socially or personally?
10. How many ways have you loved people?
The Holy Spirit is constantly guiding us to make the choices that matter most in the work of building God’s Kingdom on earth.
Some of these things are very important to God, specifically, question #10, How many ways have you loved? The answer to this question determines the effectiveness of the other 9 questions. I Corinthians 13:1 makes it clear that without love, what we say and write, verbally, on paper, or electronically, is empty or potentially even aversive. It says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Paul is telling us that sometimes we seem eloquent and believe we’re doing important Kingdom work, but we’re just making a lot of noise.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
There are other promises of future rewards. Scriptural promises are made to encourage us to look past what we see in the material world in the present. Perseverance gets heavenly attention. James 1:12 says;
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
God is so tenderly compassionate that He records our sorrows.
God keeps track of not just what we say and do for Him, but also of the pain that we experience throughout our lives. God is so tenderly compassionate that He records our sorrows. One of the sweetest verses in Scripture is Psalm 56:8, which contains an intimate explanation of just how much He cares;
“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.”
In Heaven there is a file, or a book, or a spiritual equivalent of one, for each and every one of us. We may be surprised when we see it. Perhaps things we are sure were eternally important weren’t. Surely we will see that many silent kindnesses and demonstrations of Jesus’ love were infinitely important. We will be reminded of every word or deed that pleased God and spread His love, even if it seemed insignificant to us.
Some things long forgotten by us aren’t forgotten by God. I Corinthians 3:8 says, “The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” May each of us speak and labor in love. May we live each moment so that we will receive many heavenly rewards, and may our awesome Father be glorified and very well pleased!