Bullying

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My personal ethics for Facebook in 2016

Here’s the deal…I freaking love Facebook! I love it! 

It’s true, I do. I think its awesome and I think it’s one of the best things ever!

But…and this is a BIG BUT…

If I let it, it can take over so much of my time. If I let it, I can let its negativity ruin my day. If I let it, I can let the jealousy of watching everyone’s best moments get the best of me. If I let it, it can be really destructive.

But…there’s the deal…

IF I LET IT

I don’t have to let it. I can search and recognize and scroll and reap the benefits of how freaking awesome it can be!

Now, I’ve almost given up on it in the past and I wrote about it here. But, I decided not too.

Why? Because ultimately I believe Facebook is a great tool for the Kingdom of God. 

Even though I think its great, I still have decided to set up some Facebook parameters and safety guards. These help protect me and my heart  from all the crap that can happen on Facebook and also protect others from the moments that I decide to say something hurtful or hateful or ridicoulous on Facebook.

My personal ethics for facebook

1. I will NEVER like or engage with anything that is even remotely negative.

If someone is bashing another person, an organization or whatever it is, I just don’t have time for that.

And, if I start reading and get the hint that the author is heading down a crazy negative trail, I immediately unfollow, not unfriend. It actually takes a lot for me to unfriend someone. It happens, but it takes awhile.

Here’s the deal. There is enough negativity in my life, so why would I want to add anymore? Now, I’m not talking about people who push back on a philosophy or a worldview or anything like that. I’m great with people who disagree with each other’s stances on issues and I routinely read authors who fall in different camps than mine. But, I’m done with the negativity. I’m not with the negative person, just their negativity on the Facebook airwaves.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~Phil 4:8

2. I will do everything in my power to represent Jesus as His ambassador.

Now, I’m not perfect. Actually, far from it! I don’t have all the answers and I screw up a lot. But, I will do everything possible to not make Jesus or His Church look bad on Facebook. I want to represent Him well and so that means I have some questions that I ask myself before I post something:

  • Will this post honor Jesus?
  • Will this post honor someone else?
  • Could what I say be easily taken out of context?
  • Is this post something I would be embarrassed of if I read it later?

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. ~2 Corinthians 5:20

3. I will not send or post subliminal messages.

Have you ever done this? I have! You’re trying to get a point across to someone and you hope they see your Facebook page and the post you put up just for them. Well, my days of doing that are over!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. ~Matthew 5:37

4. I will use Facebook to encourage others. 

Whether it’s through helpful articles, inspiring pictures, helpful thoughts or just good old fashion humor, I will use this incredible tool to bring encouragement, not hate! I try to send dozens of encouraging messages a week through private messages, posts on walls and my commenting and liking posts.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thes 5:11

5. I will use Facebook to invite people to be a part of the Kingdom. 

I am unashamed to use Facebook to talk about Jesus, the CHURCH or my Church. I know some people disagree with that, but I think it’s a tremendous tool for the kingdom. Now, I will never become soap box preacher and finger pointing preacher on Facebook. That stuff is ridiculous and I think makes little 7 pound, 5 ounce baby Jesus cry! See, I probably just offended someone with that last sentence, but it was funny! Haha.

I will post scriptures, encouraging quotes, helpful articles and challenging Christ filled messages that hopefully will bring hope and joy and peace and truth to someone’s life.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  ~ Romans 1:16

6. I will NEVER bash another human being, organization or the CHURCH! 

This happens all the time on Facebook and it makes me nauseous. This just hurts the Kingdom of God and makes Satan smile! Even when someone bashes me, I’m just not going to lash back out on Facebook. Or my food took too long at a restaurant, or the cashier was rude at Target. Nope, just not going to BASH!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~Eph 4:29

A few last thoughts…

Obviously, I’m not the Facebook captain of the world and these are just my thoughts and ethics. But, for me, I have found these helpful as I passionately do everything I can to follow Jesus with my whole heart and life.

And lastly, its easy for your identity to get boosted by Facebook. Likes, comments and friends. But, don’t let it. Our identity is rooted in the fact that we were created in the image of God and we’re His children!

Imagine if Jesus followers used Facebook to make a giant impact on the world for Jesus? Wow!

Excited to Encourage 2nd Graders to Choose Kindness over Bullying today at Beal City School

It’s been awhile, about a year and a half, but today I’m encouraging 2nd graders to

Choose Kindness over Bullying.

Let me back up. Before I planted Thrive Church, I started a non profit called Live Now Leadership and I spoke in schools to encourage students to Choose Kindness over Bullying. But, with the rapid growth of the church, I just haven’t been able to head out and speak in schools. I’ve missed it.

So, we were at Madie’s parent teacher conference and as we were taking with her teacher it came up that I use to speak to students. She jumped on it quickly and asked if I would speak to all the 2nd graders at Madie’s school.

Helping kids, students and adults treat each other with kindness and respect is actually a HUGE passion of area of mine! My heart breaks when people mis-treat each other.

Just imagine if Parents would be passionate about teaching their kids to treat each other with unprecendeted amounts of kindness and respect. Imagine if parents treated their families and their peers with that kind of kindness. Imagine if 2nd graders understood the importance and began to treat others with kindness…the world would change!

This wasn’t a tough decision at all.

So, this morning I’m headed into Madie’s school and I get to help out. I can’t wait!

And bonus, my kids have heard me speak on this so many times that they’ve been helping get my talk together this morning! I love that!

Thanks for praying for me around 8ish this morning!

Facebook 101…The real reason to use facebook

There are so many reasons to use Facebook. Too many to list in this blog post. But, what I hope to convey is what I think, the only real reason to use it.

And yes, I understand I’m going out on a limb a bit.

I’ve been working on a series of posts about Facebook for a few months now and I’m ready to start putting them up. So, here’s my first go at it.

Here’s what I know about Facebook…

It can either greatly improve your life or it can bring a world of negativity into your life.

The great thing is…you get to choose.

It can either encourage you or suck your time away from you.

The great thing is…you get to choose. 

It can either be used a tool to communicate with friends and family or it can be used to spread negativity.

Again, the great thing is…you get to choose. 

This is how powerful this simple online website is! It has the potential to bring life to people. To get them connected. To get them engaged. But, way too often it does the exact opposite. People get more frustrated, they become more envious and jealous and the negativity just fills their mind.

In fact, I would be rich if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say ‘I’m so tired of the drama on Facebook’.

Ok, so what’s the real reason to use Facebook? Instead of listing a ridiculously long list, I’m just gonna cut to the chase and post what I believe is the only real reason to use Facebook. Here we go:

To bring life to others. 

Yup, I really believe it’s not about you. Its not about me. It’s about bringing hope. Bringing joy. Bringing new ideas. Bringing new connections. Bringing new relationships and encouragement for old ones.

It’s all about…bringing life to others.

Enough with the hate. Enough with the negativity. Enough with the late night woe is me posts. Enough with hiding behind it. Enough with the name calling. Enough with the ‘my life is better than yours’. Enough.

Enough. Please. 

Please just use it to bring life.

Don’t know how? Well, that’s tomorrow’s post.

Stop Listening to the Negative Voices

This is a quick and unedited post. So, please forgive any typos or rambling. 

But, something that has been on my mind a lot lately is how to deal with the negative voices that attack my mind and my heart.

Can you relate?

They remind you that you’re not talented, not smart, not gifted and not going down the right path.

Maybe your voices remind that you will never be able to give up getting drunk, or sleeping around or whatever it is.

Wow, Satan is alive and well and he is good at what he does.

I find the more I step out in faith, the more the attacks come.

I find that when I’m the most tired and worn, the more the attacks come.

I find that when I dwell on the tiny minority of negative criticism, the more the attacks come.

I find that when I’m not filling my heart and my head with scripture, the more the attacks come.

I find that when I’m not spending great time with Jesus, the more the attacks come.

Not sure how you stop the negative voices, but here’s one thought…

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Fill your mind with the truth of scripture. Spend great time with Jesus. Seek God.

What if we prayed for others to succeed? No REALLY!

It’s easy to pray for others to succeed, right?images

Yes and No…

It’s easy for me to pray for my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, my church, the leaders I admire, the people I want to have relationships with to succeed. I do that all that time.

I know that’s pretty selfish, but it’s easy, it’s fun and it’s a joy asking God to pour out His blessings and give His favor to the people I really love. I mean, I really want them to succeed!

Done deal, right?!?

Wrong.

Jesus has something absolutely ridiculous to say about taking it a step further and when I say a step…I mean

A HUGE STEP

 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If Love-Your-Enemiesall you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

~Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)

Wow! I don’t know if that has set in you, but it hits me like a brick in the face (not that I have ever experienced that!).

Jesus again, does what Jesus does…he upsets the apple cart…BIG TIME. 

Pharisees taught that yes, you should LOVE those near and dear to you (Lev. 19:18) but, they also taught that Israel’s enemies should be hated.  They implied that their hatred was God’s means of judging their enemies.

Oh, but here comes Jesus. Jesus comes right out and says that Israel should demonstrate God’s love even to her enemies!

“He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty”

What if we prayed for the people who are hard for us to pray for? 

Our competition, our bullies, and the bad and nasty people? Basically, our enemies!

Jesus followers aren’t suppose to have enemies, though, right?

Well, the bummer is, we all do. Family members who don’t understand our commitment to Jesus, co-workers who don’t get our convictions, or other believers who have become upset with you over something.

So, maybe it’s not like a brutal–vicious enemy. But, I guarantee that from time to time you may have relationships go sour, or people who try to compete with you over everything, or out-do you, or bully you or make fun or just simply remind you that you’re not all that great!

So PRAY for their SUCCESS! 

Yeah, I know it’s crazy. But, try it.

Pray for God to give them wild SUCCESS.

Pray for God to unleash the floodgates of Heaven upon them.

Pray for God to bless them…relationally, spiritually, financially, emotionally.

Pray everyday.

Pray humbly.

Pray.

Why do Christians have to bully?

I don’t really have the mental energy to answer this question right now.

But, Gosh, I am so tired of people who say they’re followers of Jesus and bully others.

They bully non-Christians, they bully Christians, they bully their family, they just bully.

I just don’t get it. 

I can’t even begin to count the amount of conversations I have with people who tell me they’ve given up on church or God because their tired of being bullied.

Bullied by…

Their families. Maybe they grew up Catholic or Lutheran or Methodist or whatever and now they’ve decided to attend a church that is not a part of the denomination of their childhood. They get bullied because of it.

Their friends. Yes, their friends. Sometimes friends can’t understand why they would give so much time to a church. Or follow God with their hearts.

Am I wrong? Maybe I’m just seeing it the wrong way.

It’s time to stop.