Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Conviction I Need To Share

I have no idea how this is going to come out, but it needs to come out. It's been on my mind for months now.

I have been frustrated. Really frustrated.

Frustrated with what?

With seeing people be one way online and another way in person.

For some reason it has been driving me CRAZY to read a Facebook status from someone and then wonder, "Where is that in their life?" Or to read a tweet about joy from the most negative, bitter person I know. Or to get a really long wall-post full of encouraging words and support from someone who NEVER shows encouragement or support in person.

I mean, it's driven me so crazy for months now. In fact, there was one person in particular who just really got under my skin. It seemed that everything they tweeted/Facebooked sounded really good, but showed up no where in their daily life. Drove. Me. Nuts. I would find myself commenting on it (to Marty) all the time, talking about how frustrated it made me. He finally said to me, "Jordan... just stop following them. Stop reading their stuff. There's no point and it's only stumbling you."

That worked. For a while. But then I just found another person who seemed to do the same thing. And then they drove me crazy. And these people, these contradictory online lives, these fake statuses... they've been at the peak of my attention lately. I can't stop thinking about it, I can't stop noticing it. I can't stop being appalled by it. (I know this sounds so judgmental, and maybe it is. But please, hear me out.)

For months now I've just taken the approach of me being frustrated with these people. But I've realized... maybe I'm not frustrated with them. Maybe I'm frustrated with myself. Maybe I am seeing in them what I do not like about myself... what I wish to change about myself.

Maybe I'm that person. Maybe my statuses, my tweets, my blogs portray a Jordan that I would like for people to really believe and know, but my real speech, my real life, my real attitudes reflect a slightly less noble Jordan. And maybe every time I see this portrayed in someone else's online life, I get mad. Not because they are not living up to their own online standard, but because I am not. And they just remind me of that.

And you know what? I think that same principle could be applied to almost any situation in which we feel frustrated with other people.

Have you ever thought about it? Maybe the very thing the frustrates you most about other people is, in some round about way, something that really frustrates you about yourself? 

Most people would probably be way too prideful to admit to this. And for a long time I was. I just wanted to point out them. They drive me crazy. They are such hypocrites. They need to walk their talk a little better. If only people knew the real them.

They. They. They.

When the whole time it should have been, me. me. me.

But I praise the Lord that He has opened my eyes to it and shown me this hard-to-swallow truth. Because now I feel so free. Free to look past the speck in my brother's eye and work on removing the plank in my own. Free to let go of this in my life and allow God to reshape it, mold it, chisel it.

I'm free to look at it from completely open-minded perspective. And here's what I think.

It's not that the things I post online are made up. They're not. I believe they really are from my heart. They really are what I believe, what I long for, what I want to proclaim. The encouragement I show people online that I fail to show in person... it's not fake or vain. It's real. I mean every word. But people don't know that. People can't know my heart. And if they see an online life and a real life that aren't quite matching up, of course they're going to assume hypocrisy. I would too.

It's not that I need to stop writing those things online. It's just that I need to step up to the plate and have the courage and boldness to live them out in person. And it's not that my online life and real life are completely different. For the most part, outsiders probably wouldn't notice anything. But I notice. My husband would notice. My family and best friends would notice. And that matters to me.

Sometime I can write about forgiveness a lot faster than I can show forgiveness.

Sometimes I can write about faith in situations in which I have very little faith at the moment.

Sometimes it's a WHOLE lot easier to write about love than to act out love.

I think Paul would really understand where I'm at. In Romans 7 he writes,

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Sound like a confused, frustrated man? I think so. But sure sounds like a man I can relate to. I know what I want to be. I know who I want to be portrayed as. But I do not always live up to that. I do not always meet my own standards for myself. But I strive, because those really are the desires of my heart. 

My prayer for myself this year is that the desires of my heart become even more the actions of my life. I pray that I can look back on 2011 and remember it as the year I closed the gap between my online life and my real life. I pray that I don't become less online, but that I simply become more in person. 

If you read this thing all the way through, bless you. Ha. I know it wasn't my norm. It wasn't fun. Maybe even confusing. But thank you for reading through this with me. I pray that you can be encouraged and enlightened by my own convictions, and I pray that you stop and see where your frustrations toward other people might be reflecting your own shortcomings in your life. 

Love you all!



Jordan said...

I can 110% relate to you and this post. It got to the point of me taking a few days off of FB because I was getting so annoyed and aggravated at certain people. I agree with you that maybe it's more so us. Although, I do get sick of seeing fake people!

Bugs and Sunshine said...

Good Word Sista!!! Aaaaannnnd congrats on your big news!