“Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” go the lyrics from an old country song which ironically reminds me of an essay I recently read. The essay was from a teenager admitting her addiction to online social media. She stated that while she knew she should be doing other things like homework, eating, sleeping, speaking to her family, ya know, the basics; instead she was constantly connecting to her social media sites to see who was following her, who had liked her pages and her posts. She stated that although she felt a bit of affirmation when someone liked her page, when they didn’t, she felt let down. This wise beyond her years teen concluded that the affirmations of the people on her social media sites really didn’t matter a bit when it came to who she truly was and whether she was loved.
This leads me only to further irony; the place where we can go and experience the unconditional love and acceptance of our creator is not frequented as much as it used to be. The very place where we encounter affirmation of us as humans, broken, imperfect, yet loved beyond compare, is the same place that many people state they have no use for and thus don’t attend. Worship has become a bit of an oddity for many folks. Yet, social media sites are exploding with millions of humans seeking affirmation and acceptance from in many cases people that they don’t even know and may never know in the traditional sense of the word. It is ironic and sad that more and more of the population rely on these sites for their sense of affirmation and identity. Why is this? Is it because we as the church are failing to proclaim the love that is poured out from God? Are we not demonstrating it in visible ways so that it is obvious to those who have not heard? Where have we missed on opportunities to let people know that although they may find some temporary affirmation on these sites, that nothing can compare to the acceptance of the creator and the love that has exploded on the pages of our lives! Perhaps the church needs to speak out with more clarity this incredible message of hope. Tweet it, snapchat it, put it on Instagram, post on tumblr or facebook; God loves you, just as you are!