Tuesday, 23 September 2014

FACEBOOK FRIENDS - DAVE BUNTING SUNDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER

Technology!!!  Well, as you know, me and all that stuff go together like a horse and carriage, like pie and peas, caviar and champagne.  We were made for each other, a marriage made in heaven - or perhaps not!

For many years I resisted the onslaught of technology like the old man that you think I am, the proverbial dinosaur.  With great reluctance I stepped into it simply because, like many others of my generation, I found it so difficult.  I knew the need and advantages of what could be achieved but there were others who could do it for me - why have a dog and bark yourself! ("Woof" said the typist!)  It left me free to do what I do best. But it turns out you can teach an old dog like me new tricks.


Now I live off my mobile, texting and emailing in droves.  I recognise the value of it all, great websites, quality productions.  I can contact a whole home group with the touch of a button and I can send a continuous stream of work to my secretary. ("What a blessing!" said the typist).

The conversation texting is more difficult.  I'm not that fast still and when I'm bombarded by different people at the same time some have to go on hold. Sorry.  Oh for the ease of a telephone call!  I'm so much better at chatting.

Texting is great but sometimes you can't read intention or motive of heart.  Oh for the time when we just talked.  You could hear the intonation of the voice, see the glint in their eye, the tongue in their cheek, the smile or the scowl and all the other gestures that make it clear what is really being said and how we are meant to take it.

Texting and the like can be for cowards.  I hear that people have broken relationships with a text, bullied others by email and Facebook or it can be used for posting loads of drivel about, well about nothing.  Unless you really need to know when someone is going shopping or needing the toilet! Only joking, I'm sure that's all fun.

Seriously, I realise texting, emails and Facebook can be used for great good.  I know people who put testimonies, encouraging verses of scripture and uplifting quotes on Facebook.  It's great for those who are lonely or those wanting to catch up with friends all over the world.

However Facebook can be used to pour out all our grumbles, negative feelings, moans and groans, even used to attack others.  If we feel bad isn't it better to talk to someone who will help.  It's good to talk.

When I was young, many,many moons ago, I was taught two things, one by my mum..."Don't air your dirty linnen in public.".  In other words don't spill it out your private business to everyone.  Some people would involve the whole street if they could and get as many people joining in as possible.  Then they wonder why the problem just grows and grows.

The other thing I was taught was "Don't wee on everyone else's strawberries."  That means don't put out stuff that discourages others.  They may be having a great day and then I come along and put paid to all that by enveloping them in my cloud of gloom and rain on their parade.  We all have bad days.  Call me old fashioned if you like, but let's instead go to God, to a friend, a leader but not on Facebook.

So let's use all this social media but in a positive way.  Facebook can be used in amaziing ways for good, to share your love and kindness, to spread good news and the gospel, to encourage and lift up everyone around you, giving them the courage to face life.  That's all great.

If that chapter in James had been written today it wouldn't just say that the tongue is a power for good and evil but Facebook too.  So use it as Jesus would for the glory of God.  Then, who knows, you might even find me on Facebook next!  Miracles do happen.