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5 Things to Remember When Using Social Media

164262_599645136724539_970989253_n by Carrie Blackaby

Social media has dramatically changed the social landscape. Friends near and far can easily stay updated on your daily life. You can post a picture of the pumpkin spice latte you just ordered and almost instantly receive comments from your mother-in-law, former soccer coach, pastor, and Great Aunt Sue.

While there are many benefits of living in a hyper-connected world, it also presents unique challenges. Everyone now has a platform, and in the immortal words of Uncle Ben (or the smart guy he plagiarized), “With great power comes great responsibility.”


social_media

Below are 5 things we should keep in mind as we embrace the wonderful world of social media:

  1. Don’t let a Facebook like replace action. While social media can be a great way to bring awareness to a cause or need, sharing an article or posting a status should not be an end in itself. Rather it should be a springboard to action—such as volunteering, donating, sponsoring, and especially praying.
  1. What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. Just like it’s prudent to think before we speak, we should think before we post! A good rule of thumb is to avoid social media when our judgment is impaired (whether by anger, exhaustion, distraction, etc.) to avoid posting anything we will later regret.
  1. Spread Joy. Take inventory of the balance of positive/negative posts, comments, or articles you share. While life certainly isn’t sunshine and daisies all the time, our online presence says a lot about us. The way we present ourselves should be a reflection of Christlike love, not of a critical and pessimistic spirit.
  1. The “Golden Rule” applies (even in the comments sections). Online interaction can often feel removed from real life, and that can make people less inhibited to write what they would never say to someone’s face. Scroll through the comments of any YouTube video (at your own risk) and you will often find ugly exchanges. Even under funny cat videos! But we should keep Matthew 7:12 in mind, “Sowhatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” We should show respect to others online, even when we disagree.
  1. Find Balance. As with any other good thing, social media is best when used in moderation. With the social media world so easily accessible, it can become tempting to check our phones, laptops, or ipads all the time. But then we tend to miss what is happening around us. As the saying goes, be with the people you’re with.

 

Why We Should Go Green

164262_599645136724539_970989253_nBy Carrie Blackaby Camp

When you think of people “going green,” the first image that comes to mind might be of tree-hugging hippies who disdain traditional deodorant and picket the destruction of the yellow-bellied sapsucker’s habitat. And don’t even get started on Whole Foods…

Of course, most of us agree that being environmentally conscious is a good thing, like flossing your teeth twice a day or eating kale. But it can seem overwhelming (like flossing your teeth twice a day and eating kale…).

Environmentalism has certainly gotten a lot of attention lately. But environmental consciousness is more than a trend. It is a God-given duty and Christians ought to be leading the charge, not lagging behind.Going-Green

Genesis 1:26-28 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”

God created the earth and all that is in it, and we ought to treat it with due respect.

It might not be feasible for everyone to ditch our cars, grow all our own food, or switch to solar power, but we can all take steps toward becoming more environmentally conscious.


Here are five easy ways to be a better manager of God’s magnificent creation:

  1. There is no reason to throw away paper, cans, or bottles when they can be reused. Many services even offer to pick up recyclables right from your curb.
  1. Use your own shopping bags. Keep reusable grocery bags in your trunk so you’re prepared for even unplanned trips to the grocery store.
  1. Switch to a refillable water bottle. Not only will this cut down on unnecessary waste, but it will also slash the expense of buying bottled water.
  1. Compost. Separating out organic waste (apple cores, coffee grounds etc.) is a great way to minimize garbage. And it makes a great fertilizer for your yard or garden.
  1. Before throwing something in a landfill, consider ways to repurpose it. Pinterest is full of DIY project ideas that can give a new life to anything from an old sweatshirt to a coke bottle.

We honor God by tending to our own bodies and by caring for other people. Likewise, showing respect for the world He created is just one more way we can glorify our Creator.

 

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