Heights and Depths

February 6, 2017 — 6 Comments

“You seek the heights of manhood when you seek the depths of God.”

Edwin Louis Cole [via DeliberateDads.com]

In this world of social media, multi media, and “real” and “fake” media, it’s easy to get disoriented, distracted, and disengaged.  It’s also easy to become worried, weary, and a little wacky.

When I look at my Facebook feed, I have “friends” on both sides of the political spectrum who are using this platform to proclaim their stance, to bash those against their viewpoints, and to rip apart the Body.  While I understand the desire to debate, to disagree, and to defend one’s point of view, I find it appalling the way people are treating each other verbally.

Facebook is no longer a place for friends to connect, to share life’s moments, and to encourage each other.  I’ve often asked my wife why there can’t just be a different social media platform where people can air their politics.

Some might say I’m simply avoiding the issues that need to be discussed.

Some might say I’m failing to take a stand or to choose a side.

Some might even think I believe something that I really don’t believe.

There maybe some truth to these thoughts and accusations; after all, I hate conflict.  But there is also a major part of my heart and mind that wants to be a voice and a model for positive, constructive behavior.  I want my actions and my words to represent Christ well.  I want people to see HOPE instead of despair because of how I choose to communicate.

With this in mind, I try to ask myself this question:  “In what I am saying, doing, and even thinking, am I building others up and am I building up the Body?”

I started writing this post with a different intent, but I guess I had other things I needed to say.

I’m concerned with helping men reach the heights of their potential as husbands, fathers, and men, and I think it starts with learning more about the depths of God.  (Visit Stretched Men Group to learn more.)

I think this applies to my thoughts above.  If I want to represent Christ well in my actions, my words, and my thoughts, I need to know Him more – more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today.

If you and I want to change the world for the good, I think I might know where to start.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

In what you are saying, doing, and thinking, how are you building others up?  Share your thoughts in comments.

[I’ve recently been more active in sending emails to readers on my list.  If you want an opportunity to connect with me in a different way, sign up below.  This is a great way to get a different perspective on some other things I am doing and to be STRETCHED with additional thoughts and perspectives from me.]

Jon Stolpe

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, engineer, manager, runner, blogger, sax player, group life fan, freelance writer, and the list goes on...
  • Tim Gradoville

    Jon – I too have felt similar feelings when scrolling through social media. With people so divided on issues and unwilling just to listen to what the other side has to say, I find it hard to understand how this country can achieve unity. I’m actually taking a break from facebook for awhile since I don’t like the way I’m reacting to posts I read and the amount of time I’ve wasted scrolling through the hate when I could’ve been spending it actually living my life and engaging with those around me. I’m giving my wife my password to change so I won’t even be able to logon if I’m tempted in hopes that I can refocus my energy and time on the things of this world that matter the most to me. Thanks for the honesty in your post and it’s encouraging to read the positive steps you’re taking to make this world a better place!

    • I’ve heard of more and more people taking a break from FB. Let me know how it goes.

  • Great thoughts Jon. I often struggle with the venom that seems to come out on all sides of the spectrum in social media. As to your question at the end, I think, for me, the thinking part is where everything starts. I may often see something someone posted that I disagree with or think is misguided; and my first reaction may be to want to jump right into the conversation and share my views.

    But too often, I don’t take the time to let myself see things from their perspective, with their history and experiences, based on what their life has been like or is like now. I think when I’ve been able to stop and ask Christ to help me see others as he sees them, I’m often challenged to respond differently, to approach differently, to speak differently.

    I think I’ve found the most satisfaction when I’ve been able to be someone’s champion in a conversation or when God has shown me a different side of someone’s life and challenged me to come alongside them rather than just hurl words that are only making things worse. Jesus was such a master at this. So often, he entered into a situation that was volitile and where people were pushing him to make a decision or do something in the heat of the moment. And he always seemed to be able to stop, slow things down and reach beneath the surface to what was really going on and what really mattered. I love reading the book of John because I believe it gives us such great examples that we can use today as to how to build up and bring healing instead of pouring fuel on a fire.

  • Lulu

    For some of the reasons you listed, and more, I didn’t join Facebook. I’ve seen it devour people’s time and divide. Since Scripture says we are going to be accountable for every word we “say” – having yet another avenue to “speak” seems dangerous. As Christians we are to bring light to a situation, not heat! Since our goal is to be more like Christ, I feel we need to spend more time with Him. Seek His Face, rather than Facebook.

  • Steve Y

    I Amen Lulu’s response. I am on Facebook two weeks a year, when my kids are at church camp. I do know it is a great way to communicate , especially with old friends. But, time and again, I have seen others devoured by time and I know two people that have rekindle an old flame, then divorce their spouse. I have also heard the ugliness of conversations on Facebook. I guess I have chosen other ways to communicate.

    • I have seen FB used for good things. Regardless, the best communication is always good, old-fashioned face-to face, voice-to-voice conversation.