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The Social-Networking Numbers Idol

June 11, 2009

As you may have already seen, I joined twitter. The number of those who have decided to “follow” me hasn’t exactly boomed, but before I knew it, I was receiving e-mails telling me that people I had never met before were now following me. With much excitement I checked their profiles to find they were the equivalent of spammers who wanted people to view their profiles. In reality, only half of my followers were legitimate.

But some part of me really likes those spammers “following” me. After all, 20 followers looks a lot better than 10 doesn’t it? And who can really tell the difference? So what if those guys aren’t really concerned about my tweets? Maybe I would look like a little less of a twitter loser with my inflated numbers.

The issue, though it may seem minuscule, is really a gospel issue. I so often attempt to justify myself by my works that I can even feel my ministry is more or less validated by number of twitter followers, blog hits and comments, or facebook wall posts. My guess you do also (okay, go ahead and act self-righteous and pretend like it doesn’t make you smile inside when someone unexpected comments on your blog).

You may say that I’m reaching and that something this small isn’t worth discussing. I say that something that small must be discussed. If something that stupid can validate your ministry, how in the world will you handle frowns while preaching or critical e-mails?

Is it a silly observation to make? Possibly. But at least in my own life, it reveals something about the depth of the idolatry in my own heart, and how everyday I must reform myself to remember that my approval comes from nothing other than the gospel.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2009 9:42 am

    lol…I feel you.
    I think everyone is that way…even just a little bit.
    Thanks for making me feel like a sinner all over again. 😉

  2. June 12, 2009 10:17 am

    I guess I could have ended it by saying, “some of you are heretics,” but decided to leave that to Mark Driscoll…

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