Faith and Favoritism

filed under: Miscellaneous on March 30, 2012

With only four weeks left of my James: Mercy Triumphs study by Beth Moore, I am feeling quite bittersweet.

I love that I have learned so much about James and myself, but I just dont want it to end.

Beth said this quote at the very beginning of study and she could not have been more spot on!

As I am learning more and more about James and about the words that he shared in the Bible, I am indeed changing.

In session four Beth touched on the subject of social media.

She suggests reading James 2:3 (NASB)

“and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”

She talked about “followers”.  As in twitter.  Or Pinterest.  Or Instagram.  She asked that we examine the literal translation of the verse in Greek:

“while you say to the poor man: ‘Stand there,’ or ‘Sit here under my footstool.”

This next part is sketchy for me because it was just on the video so I didnt catch every detail. (so if there is any historical inaccuracy, it is mine)  She talked about ancient times where people would go before Kings to be granted favor.  Often times the people would lay before the King with their face on the ground.  The King might place his foot on their head until he was ready to hear from them.  When he would literally lift up his foot, that is when he was ready to listen.

That example really got me to thinking about followers.  About how twitter works.  When I get the notification that someone is following me and I do not follow them back, is that similar to me metaphorically holding them down under my foot?

Am I selectively granting permission to people just to hear what I have to say?

Ok, so I now that is hard to follow.  I am hoping and praying that Beth would do a whole study on the Bible and social media because obviously I am not good explaining it.

But.  She made me realize something about myself.

I do show favorites in social media.

I have been thinking a LOT about how I interact with people.  Its been weighing very heavy on me and I am making changes.

I want to talk a lot more about how much studying James has affected how I use social media.  I want to share how its changing how I view people, and hopefully, how they view me.

But first I think I need to study James a bit more!

In the meantime I have a question.

Have you ever considered social media in a Biblical perspective?  I would love to know how people view this… as I have been thinking about it daily!


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  • Christina says:

    I have in the sense that our social media activity is readily visible to EVERY person who sees it. And yes, we are called to be a witness and I want my social media to reflect that, but it’s SO MUCH DEEPER than that… “Weaker brothers” are witness to the things I post and God calls me to not lead them into temptation. Those both saved and not saved are able to see what I post and we are commanded to be people of genuine reputation. Our yes is yes and our no is no. How much do we consider who will see our posts… Who we can hurt, who we can cause to stumble, who we can turn away to God… (and on the flipside… who we can help, who we can encourage, and who we can bring closer to God). I think about that EVERY time I post. My pastor and my church family who have known me since I was a baby are some of my friends, so that made me start thinking about what I was willing to post ;] But I have to guard myself from Gossip and I have to guard my non-Christians from some of the lousy examples I could set by being a hypocrite.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. Good topic :]

    • Amanda says:

      You bring up some GREAT points Christina!! I think you are right on, and I would love to explore this topic with you. I love that you have got me thinking even more! 🙂

  • Christy says:

    I’ve not done this study and not sure I will, because over the last couple of years I’ve been disturbed by some of the things that Beth is preaching (very unbiblical things and it breaks my heart). But to answer your question….I know I can be a lousy at time example of Christ on facebook, when I show just how human I am. When I get angry, when I get self-righteous, when I hold others up to a standard that I myself am not at, etc. I also know more often than not, I put on a happy face, because many of my fb friends are people I have to see often and we live on a small Army post and don’t want them to know all my business…so I’m being false.

    I definitely need to pray on this more. I know I need to be Christ-like at all times and know I fail constantly. I think though honestly it goes so far beyond just the social networking…sure that’s taken on a whole new aspect of life for many, but if we’re living more through our computers and phones and less face to face…we need to really dig in and figure out why we’re avoiding those faces that God’s placed in our lives, to begin with, because we are hiding out if that’s the case.

    (Not sure if my comment makes any sense…I get 2 or 3 hours of sleep currently and feel like I’m not very understandable currently! LOL)

    • Amanda says:

      Oh dear… I had no idea Beth was teaching something unbiblical? Its funny because she actually talks about that very issue in this study. I would have to do research on it because I just can not see Beth Moore teaching anything that is not directly inspired by God’s World.

      As far as conviction… I dont think this message was one of condemnation. We ALL fall short… we all make mistakes and err and say and do things we wish we hadnt. You are such a faithful and Godly woman, I hope you know how much I respect that about you!

      Thanks for giving me so much to think about!! Be blessed sweety!

  • Sweetsugarbelle says:

    This really hit home with me. It’s really hard for me to publicly talk about my feelings about some of these things, but it’s funny how the Internet has turned into such a large part of our social interaction that it has some of the dynamics of real life now. I could go on…but I have to think on it more.

    • Amanda says:

      I know exactly how you feel girl! Feel free to message me if you ever want to chat in private. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Ann says:

    I think social media gives you a foothold to tell others about Christ! 🙂 I love Beth Moore! 🙂

  • Danijela says:

    This is one interesting point of view. I must say that I haven’t thought about social media on this level, but I think not following something back is not so bad at all. I believe that follower is not the same as a person which we have connected with. With so many not honest followers, I think we should only care about people we really have connected with. I believe that only those people will really listen and follow, and that only them really deserve to get our attention in return.

    • Amanda says:

      Interesting perspective Danijela! I am going to have to think on it some more! 🙂

  • Jana A. says:

    I too love Beth Moore, and am so very excited to tackle the James study. My women’s group is currently studying “Living Beyond Yourself” by Beth Moore. She has such a gift when it comes to making me really see beyond my little world and my own little thoughts. It would make me so sad to find out that she were teaching anything but that which is directly from the Bible.

    As far as social media goes…I’m not really sure where I stand. I’ll let ya know more after Beth stretches my thoughts on this subject matter when we begin our James study!

    Amanda, you have a fabulous blog, and since you’ve updated your site to show us all aspects of your life-knowing you’re a christian just sweetens my reading time with you!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you so much Jana! I too would be so sad to hear Beth say anything unbiblical… I did some research and cant find what Christy is talking about, so I might have to just ask Christy to please share more!

      I really enjoyed Living Beyond Yourself… I need to do that study again. I could not agree with you more… Beth helps me to understand things in such a real and motivating way!

      Be blessed girl!

  • Sherri D. says:

    First off, I’ve been doing the same study, “James: Mercy Triumphs” by Beth Moore and this past week was our second week. Thoroughly enjoying it! Obviously, I am not in the same place of the study as you are, so I don’t feel comfortable addressing the question this week. Our family just returned back to the States after serving as full-time missionaries for four years in Costa Rica. There are so many things we learned about ourselves while on that journey with the Lord and about Him. One very important thing the Lord taught us early on was from I Corinthians 1:26-31, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God, that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: Let him who boasts boast in the Lord”. In the beginning of the verse when it says, “called”, I doubt it means being called to the mission field. What I believe it means is when the Lord called us to Himself because our sinful nature is not naturally going to go looking for Him. So the verses are talking about your spiritual state at the time of receiving Him as your Lord and Savior. I think it’s key to remember where we once were when we deal with other people. If we can remember where we came from and what we are in Him and because of Him I think we deal with people with much more love and compassion.

  • Christina @ Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe says:

    What a neat perspective! Thanks for this.

  • Becky says:

    I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog! I came originally from Faded Plains, then to another blog, then to your baking blog, and then to here. I couldn’t resist having a peek when I saw your title.

    I have thought long and hard about social media. I believe wholeheartedly that God wants us to use it as a platform to share His gospel message, His grace, and His love.

    I have come to realize that as much as I enjoy great blogs and Pinterest, etc…that I have to be careful not to put emphasis on worldly things in my personal life and on my blog, FB, etc.. We all want warm, welcoming homes, and I love to nest, but I have been convicted to not encourage wanton spending and endless striving to attain things that bring my home or wardrobe to the current style fad. I love the quote “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” It can be a thin line too, since I have an Etsy shop. I feel some changes coming with that so we’ll see what He does!

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart. How lovely you are.
    I will be back here for sure.
    Joy and blessings,

    • Amanda says:

      Such a great perspective Becky… thank you!

  • Becky says:

    Oh…and I have done several Beth Moore studies and haven’t once seen or read anything that conflicts with the truth of the Word. I would like to know what she found, too, because I do know that any of us can misinterpret the Word. The final authority is always the Word.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Becky! I did a little internet sleuthing and found what I believe the previous commentor was talking about. I read the articles and listened to the video in question. I did NOT find there to any UNBiblical teaching. THe things that she is being criticized for were opinions and not based in fact. I feel very, very comfortable doing Beth’s studies and recommending her to any woman who wants a closer relationship with Christ!

  • KC says:

    I think there’s a question of how we’re “using” people.

    If you read Beth Moore Bible studies because they hit the spot and they *work* (not to curry favor or to increase peoples’ opinion of you), but therefore don’t buy/read studies equally from every single author out there, you’re not putting all the other authors of Bible studies under your footstool.

    I think that if you accept friends/followers/etc. based on actual connections or interest (or how much time you have available to actually keep up with people), rather than on snobbishness or social climbing, it should be okay to only follow those who you want to (just like it’s okay to flip through books at the bookstore and pick the ones you want to read – whereas it might not be okay to say to your neighbor “hmph! Not an NYT best-seller means not worth reading!”, if that’s out of snobbishness or social striving).

    That said, there are a *lot* of interpersonal pitfalls with social media (rewards for numbers and status, which can lead to “using” people and various other temptations very quickly), so making good decisions on this is probably very hard (as I’m sure it’s hard for famous people to pick speaking engagements; do you go for the ones where you can maybe reach the most people, even though those are likely to be the wealthiest/most important, or do you go for the poor and small and not-impressive and fewer people? Probably the answer there is a mix?).

    But anyway, flooding your life with people and with text because you don’t want to snub anyone is, I’m pretty sure, not the ideal. (not wanting to snub anyone: good; being so exhausted by trying to cover everyone that you can’t accomplish what you were designed for: bad. Even Jesus didn’t preach in every town or heal every person.)

    Best wishes as you sort all this out!

    • Amanda says:

      Am loving your insights here… thank you so much for taking the time to put into words your thoughts! I am going to put a lot more thought into it! Be blessed!

  • Platinum Rose says:

    I’ve never stopped to think about this question before…but now I am thinking on a lot thanks to you 🙂 I will definitely be more consciences now about what I choose to say, and not, in a public forum. I have definitely made more points to put praise to Him out there than ever before. Just so people know what gives me the strength and courage on days where it’s easier to just be mad/hurt/sad.

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