To do or be…that is the question.
Whenever I feel a little down and wonder about my effectiveness as a person, I look at my LinkedIn profile, and I start to feel better. In my LinkedIn world, I’m amazing, I have abilities and capabilities that astound those who would simply take the time to look. Honestly? I’d put my Linked In profile up against just about anyone. And if you struggle to believe the awesomeness of my abilities, just look at the recommendations and endorsements. Obviously, I’m not alone in understanding my life prowess.
The problem is this. It’s not really who I am. It’s really about what I’ve done, think I can do, or what others have seen or think I can do.
The social media phenomenon has created a culture of self-awareness based on a theoretical pre-supposition. What I do determines who I am. It happened almost immediately. People began to declare themselves social media experts in a field that had not been around long enough to understand it. Having a Twitter account, Facebook page, Instagram, and Tumblr gave them the seemingly, obviously amazing ability to understand a culture that had taken off in popularity.
But we bought it. In the midst of extreme social and cultural shifts, our lives are mixed in with disdain of certain political figures, absolutely horrendous theology, videos of babies laughing (which are my favorite), racial division, dancing cats, and the occasional zit being popped for our viewing pleasure. From time to time we share the greatness of our lives in pictures of food and trips to the awesome places we visit. We post what makes us happy, or what would make us happy if we could afford it, what we hate, and what we believe, if we actually took a stance when we’re not staring at the screen. We dream of doing rather than simply learning to be.
I’m certainly not who my social media profiles say I am. I guess I want people to see me that way to make people think more about me. Truth is, I’m just a guy that’s working my way through life. I tend to beat myself up for parenting mistakes, miss opportunities to help those in need, make huge mistakes, struggle with doubt, let my wife down, and can’t seem to get the reality of grace through my thick skull. But who wants to put that on a profile?
My abilities do not determine who I am. Who I am determines what I do. It’s why my life is dedicated to serving the body of Christ. Not because I have all the answers, but because life is better together. The highlight of sharing life has always been memories of time with people. People who struggle like I do, hurt like I do, doubt like I do and have found that faith in Christ is not based on me being amazing, but Him being amazing to and in us.
The older I get, the more I understand the need to just be. I can’t change the world, I can’t save anyone, I can’t stop the culture from decline. But what I can do is be a child of God. I can be aware of need around me, I can encourage those who are down, I can love my neighbor, I can be faithful, I can be a man of character, I can be salt and light, and I can move the Gospel.
I can make disciples.
I’d rather be known for that.