Live Life With a Live Feed Mentality

This past week as I reflected on all that was happening in the United States—the two hurricanes, wildfires burning, and general unrest, I slowly began to reflect on the horrible events of September 11, 2001. I sat and wondered, would we have been able to handle the likes of social media on this horrible day?
 
Throughout the hurricanes, riots, protests, and offenses committed against persons, we have become all too familiar with things like Facebook Live. We can now witness live time events that we may have never been privy to before. Where once we relied on eyewitness accounts, and perhaps a news reporter/photographer, a whole new world has opened up to us.
 
I recently visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library, and a large section of the library is dedicated to the events that unfolded on that day and the days after. On a large screen is the transcript of a voicemail Brian Sweeney left for his wife, Julie.
 
“I’m on an airplane that’s been hijacked. If things don’t go well, and it’s not looking good, I just want you to know I absolutely love you, I want you to do good, go have good times—same to my parents and everybody—and I just totally love you, and I’ll see you when you get there. Bye, babe. I hope I call you.”
 
There were many other recorded conversations, texts, and voicemails left that day, but one thing I cannot imagine is watching the whole thing unfold on the likes of Facebook Live. To watch someone’s final minutes is just too much, and on this fateful day, close to three thousand people lost their lives. I have a hard time looking at the hard images as it is from that day—you know the ones where people were jumping out of the buildings. However, as I reflected on the fact that I have a hard time with things like this, I wonder if this is what it is going to take to get our attention. Maybe we need a moral outcry in this country. Perhaps, we need to sink to all-time levels of depravity before we can really see our wickedness and complete turn from God.
 
The prophet Isaiah witnessed and prophesied to people not unlike us. In Isaiah 22: 12–13, the people saw what was coming, but instead of repenting and changing their ways, they went on doing what they were doing (and maybe even stepped it up a notch) because they were going to die anyway.
 
“At that time the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, called you to weep and mourn. He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of burlap to show your remorse. But instead, you dance and play; you slaughter cattle and kill sheep. You feast on meat and drink wine. You say, ‘Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!’”
 

I feel like this is the train wreck I am watching every day in America. I want to scream, “There is still time! We can change the course of this country by seeking God and doing what He says, not what we want to do. Stop partying and carrying on, and listening to the wicked! Follow Jesus. His ways are right.”
 
My heart is burdened, and I know others feel the same way. There are watchmen on the wall everywhere watching for what is happening and what is coming. We run with messages and thankfully, some hear and listen. However, others…many others…turn and ignore us. And yet, God still has us among them. Their choices affect us every day. The more sin there is in the world, the less God can bless. Our generation will live amongst the ash heaps unless we are bold enough to love, care, and share. We can’t place the burden on our children and our children’s children.
 
If you are a Christian, your life should look nothing like the depraved world. Sadly, many lives do. That’s a mixed message. If you Facebook Lived your entire day or week, would anyone know you are a Christian? Would they see you as different than those who are unsaved? Maybe that’s a challenge we each need to consider. If we are to “let our lights shine in the darkness” (Matthew 5:16), we need to filter our light through God’s Word.
 
We need to be sickened by, and uncomfortable with, wrong living. If we possess the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit does a good job of telling us what is wrong and right in His sight. That pit in your stomach or uneasiness in a situation is a pretty good indicator that what you are seeing or participating in is probably not a good thing. I witnessed this last night with my tender-hearted nine-year-old son.
 
A friend of ours who is a country music singer was in town for a quick outdoor, festival appearance. We went out to see him and listen to a few of his songs. The entire time, my child was miserable because he witnessed what adults act like after they’ve been drinking and smoking (“Where there is clearly a “No Smoking” sign,” he said). His Holy Spirit barometer was off the charts. Thankfully, they are not in many situations like last night, but I know my children will soon be as they venture off to college and jobs, and sometimes even in ministry situations we find ourselves in as we minister to those far from the Lord who are making bad choices.
 
The world will be full of sin and trouble until Jesus returns, but it doesn’t have to be as bad as it is. If Christians would act and live like Christ-followers, we’d be a whole lot better off. And fruit will grow from our right living.
 
As a new season is upon us, may we commit to thinking about what He would think of our live feed, and may the Holy Spirit filter out what is not good so that much fruit may be produced in and around us in the days and weeks ahead. Be expectant!
 

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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