This is my final Steve Johnson Twitter take. Again, this is not to pile on one man’s mistake, but simply to consider our own response to “dropping passes” in our lives. He’s probably a cool cat, and he probably loves Jesus just as much as I do. Although, one could make an argument that if his life was so structured as his tweet- he “praised God 24/7” so that good things can happen, and is mad when they don’t-that’s really not love at all but attempted manipulation. God can’t be manipulated like people, so don’t try. But I don’t want to read too much more into his tweet, so this take is more on the public nature of twitter and facebook.
There is a powerful scene in The Apostle, one of my favorite movies of all time, where Robert Duvall is literally yelling and screaming at God, wondering what in the world is happening to him. The neighbors call up fairly perturbed and ask what the deal is. His mother answers to something to the effect of, “Sometimes Sonny talks to God, sometimes he yells.”
God can take our frustrations. He can take our yelling. We don’t need to be gentle as though He gets His feelings hurt by us. We just need to couch everything in the fact that He is God, and we are not. He’s privy to more than we are, and He love us more than we love ourselves (hard to believe, but true). But with that pre-supposition in our heads (our hearts may be miles away), we can lay our souls bare before him. I think we can even yell and cry out.
But bearing your soul and frustrations before Him is one thing. Bearing your unfiltered frustrations with God and others before the world is another.
Facebook and Twitter can be great things. But they are not good places to lay your soul bare, and air dirty laundry that you have with your spouse, children, siblings, and frustrations with God. Such venues dishonor ALL of the aforementioned. God doesn’t do that with us, and he doesn’t let others do that to us (Matthew 18).
Frustrations are best done in real community, not cyber-community. A small group, a close friend, a pastor, elder, are 100% better than Facebook in this regard. These are safe places to be frustrated which don’t dishonor anyone. Of course the best person is the person with whom you are frustrated.
Mike Florio of profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, though not a believer to my knowledge, offers some sage advice on what we can learn from Johnson’s tweet:
The possible lesson? Prayer is best left between the person sending it, and the entity receiving it.
Unless your prayer is something that you want repeated throughout generations, like those Puritan prayers in The Valley of Vision, Florio has a good point.