(Lisa Robinson)

I confess, I’m a social media addict. Not a day goes by that you can’t find me on Facebook. I love the connectivity, conversation and in same cases, the opportunity to just act plain silly. But moreover, I love the exposure it brings to blog links and other avenues of information. I avoided Twitter until recently. Once I signed on I wondered why on earth I had neglected it for so long. More connectivity, conversation …and more blog links.  Needless to say I love blogging and follow blogs.  Between the recent Twitter addition, starting my own blog, and my normal Facebook activity, I’ve been in social media heaven.

I’m always on the hunt for good blogs. I love hearing what people have to say about things, especially about theology, the bible and life.  I encounter different perspectives that maybe I hadn’t thought of before. In fact, Parchment and Pen was the first theology blog I followed and it served as the gateway into the blogging world.  I love that world. I learn things, all kinds of things. The exposure has been great. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree.

But with the increased social media and blog activity, I’ve noticed something else I’ve been exposed to. Instruction, prescriptions, exhortations on who I can be or should be living the Christian life better.  I read on a regular basis how I should be holy, evangelize, represent Christianity, parent, pray, study scripture, handle forgiveness, support my pastor, leave a church, avoid this or that sin, recognize sin, fellowship, find a spouse, stay single, handle conflict…and the list goes on.  In the midst of it, I’m confronted with areas in my life that maybe aren’t so strong. Before long the deficiency can start snowballing into deflation where I don’t measure up. A deficiency blitz.

I bet I’m not the only one. Of course the simple solution is not to engage with social media or blogging. I admire people who are able to do that but I recognize I am not one of them. I do think there is a need to disconnect from time to time. But I think the benefits can be preserved by keeping in mind a few things(kinda funny that I’m offering prescriptions 🙂

  •  Guarding: protect yourself from allowing everything you read to dictate your actions. It means making sure a filter is there.  Of course, the newer you are in the faith, the more difficult that would be. I have to read a lot of things with a grain of salt and much discernment.
  • Consulting: for those areas that really strike you but are not sure about, consult with your pastor/elder or a trusted church leader.  Get other opinions about what something means for you. The world of social media and blogs is a great outlet but never meant to replace the church.
  • Glazing: passing over status updates, tweets or blogs that you know will create disharmony. Once I see some topics being introduced, I know its best to stop reading. Know what you shouldn’t read even before clicking on that link. I know this is harder on Facebook where that status just hits you in the face.
  • Shelving: ff it does strike at an area of deficiency, it might be good to shelve it. Not everything needs to be dealt with at the same time and the Lord has a way of letting us know what we need to deal with when we need to deal with it.
  • Limiting: the number of blogs you read and/or time on Facebook or Twitter.

But most importantly, understanding that you are a work in progress. Whatever prescriptions are being thrown out there don’t expect that everything needs to apply or even will apply. Stay secure in your relationship with the Lord and know that the same people who are blitzing you with prescriptions have not arrived either.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    8 replies to "Social Media and the Deficiency Blitz"

    • I also find it important to remember and keep eyes fixed on the grace of God. It is easy to get so caught up in the things that need changing or someone says need changing in our lives to lose focus on God’s love and grace toward us and allow things to get out of perspective by focusing on what we need to do.

    • Ed Kratz

      Mike, amen!

    • mbaker


      I have discovered, that blogs and social media should be limited. Not that some of them aren’t good in exposing falsehood, and giving correct theology, (and God bless those who are for that), but sometimes we let ourselves be more influenced by them more than we should be, and let peer pressure make ourselves be much more concerned with their human opinions than the Bible.

      In that regard at least, it concerns me greatly that we are becoming more dependent on other’s opinions in the blog world than we should be, and less upon the Lord’s.

    • MikeB

      As a social media and theology “junkie” who enjoys engaging with other ideas and blogs related to who God is and what the Scriptures he gave to us mean, I too can get overwhelmed with the amount of things I read.

      These can be “how to live/be a better Christian” posts – which can be both encouraging and convicting but also the flood of ideas and points of view that one can be exposed to. As I read over the many good blogs and ideas that are posted daily it can be hard to keep focused on what I need to as my brain starts processing on the number of different ideas on such a variety of topics.

      So I agree with the others who wisely say we need to limit the time spent here. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Sylvia

      I had the same problem. Twitter is my niche. More interactions of different types. But at times I have to limit desire to tweet about everything I read. It’s hard, but I’m getting better at it.

    • Flyaway

      I’m not a perfectionist so I bookmark the blogs I like to read and skim them when I have time. I do the same with news, magazines and other media. I can go through many websites in a matter of minutes. My mom on the other hand was a perfectionist. She had to read every article of every media type. She was appalled at my cavalier attitude! But I think God is just fine with it! I think each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made and not one alike. We just need to check with God and do the best we can!

    • xulon

      A very freeing book for me was an obscure book I found in a bargain bin called “Hurrah for the Process” it was a commentary (more a meditation) on the Book of Philippians.

      The Christian life is a process and knowledge of where you are, so often used as a club to beat you with, is where you are and He who has begun a good work in you WILL complete it (Philippians 1:7).

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