Shining Like Stars Online: We are sent

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Shining Like Stars Online: We are sent

Like many others, I’m sure, I’m often frustrated by the terribly written and poorly expressed ideas flooding the internet. Because our lives are so full of noise, it’s tempting to turn everything off, or fight the flippancy of overwhelming blabber with more flippancy, making smart-aleck remarks or using our social media platforms to tell the world what we ate for breakfast.

As Christians, however, I believe that we are called to something greater. With the rise of new media, we have been given a platform through which to share our divine hope, but many of us are intimidated from doing so.

Philippians 2:12-17 says: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”

No one who’s spent any amount of time online can doubt that we still live in a crooked and depraved generation – so why do we fear to shine like stars?

I think it’s because, in today’s polarized society, in which standing for something means we are against something else, we fear being misunderstood or shouted down. Most of us think that we have better things to do than engage with our belligerent co-worker or relative on issues of religion and culture, or we fear making enemies out of someone who we consider a friend. We are afraid of honesty, of saying too much and alienating others who don’t understand or are predisposed to disagree with our faith.

Of course, earlier in the passage Paul commands humility, and I’m not suggesting that we start pridefully whacking culture over the head with tracts. But I do think that we have slunk back from our Biblical place in a lost world. Through grasping hold of Jesus’ call to “let our light shine” and by allowing His grace to work in us, we are giving our lost world something it is desperate for: examples of God at work in real life, not far-off or unreachable, but in the day-to-day work and play of our lives.

We are told to shine like stars, speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), avoid Godless chatter (2 Timothy 2:16), and tell the Good News in a way that others may understand it (1 Corinthians 9:19-22).

Oddly enough, on the Internet – the very place that has become synonymous with lies, darkness and foolishness can also be a place of redemption and hope. Ephesians 5:8 says: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

We are not called to be aggressive or prideful with our opinions, but to shed light as redeemed children, as people who remember what darkness feels like and who want to help others find the light we now know. Online, through blogs, social media, podcasts and countless other mediums, we get the unique opportunity to share our faith with the world in a winsome and thoughtful way. We may indeed be mocked for our beliefs or endure some persecution for our honesty, in fact, later in the Ephesians passage, Paul mentions his own trials for his faith. As I write this, I realize that I’m writing to myself. I fear the scorn or mockery of my friends or even strangers in the online space. When I finally gather the courage to say something about my faith and convictions, I often fail to react as I should to criticism, unleashing a sinful barrage of human justification on my questioners. I strive to write online as a gracious, winsome apostle of Christ, and too often I fall short, coming across as a prideful, foolish disciple.

But in all of my failings, I see how God can still use me, as imperfect as I am, and, therefore, how He can use you too. There is such a hunger in our culture for honesty and unapologetic conviction. Christians are often called “backward” for holding to ancient precepts, and yet this is exactly what our world needs – a steadfast hope in Someone who does not change with the tides of pop culture.

Over the next few posts, I want to talk about how we can create a culture of discipleship and truth-seeking through unabashedly faithful new media outlets. Whether you are seeking to influence a friend on Facebook, are already an accomplished online writer or just thinking of starting a blog of your own, I hope that these posts will be encouraging and helpful to you.

Also, if you have any specific questions about online communication, blogging, social media use or any other medium from a faith-based perspective, I’d be happy to help. Please feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to address them.

About The Author
Dani Nichols
Dani Nichols
Hi, I'm Dani. As managing editor of Trochia, my job is to edit all of our pieces and give our writers guidance with excellence, Biblical truth and gracious storytelling in mind. I love our mission and community here at Trochia and am so honored to work with this incredible team. I'm married to Adam and have beautiful baby girl, Adelay. We live in Oregon and enjoy kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing and sharing good food with friends and family.
37 Comments
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  • Debra Belt-Ater
    August 9, 2012 at 6:57 am

    OH I DO WANT TO SHINE!!!!!!

  • Brent Caldwell
    August 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Great post Dani. I am anxious to see your future posts about this. I think it not only applies to online discussions, but personal conversations we have every day.

  • Daisy Karkosky Conrad
    August 9, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Me too.

  • Paulina Fernandez
    August 9, 2012 at 8:32 am

    me t

  • Trochia
    August 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    There is a lot of junk on the Internet and social media platforms. As Christians, we can shy away and criticize or we can share our divine hope. Dani Nichols gives us the encouragement we need to do it well.

  • Marie Sorrenti-carson
    August 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    hummmmm………….think i will stick with my calvary chapel lancaster,ca and ……………….air 1 radio station..

  • Marie Sorrenti-carson
    August 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    CHRISTIAN RADIO ALL THE TIME…..ALWAYS WORSHIPING GOD…..AND THE SON OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST WHO DIED FOR YOU AND ALL OF US ON THAT CROSS, HE WAS BORN TO DO THIS, NO COINCIDENCE, FACT. SAYS “THE HOLY BIBLE” NIV VERSION………..AND ONLY THE “THE HOLY BIBLE” ONE TRUE GOD, NO ONE GET OFS TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THRU THE SON……BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST AS THE SON GOD, BECOME SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS ON THAT CROSS, AND HE WILL LOOK FAVOR ON YOU AND YOU WILL BE HIS IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND, NO MAN NO ONE CAN PLUCK U FROM HIS PALM…..YOU ARE HIS FOREVER……..HEAVEN BOUND………………AMEN…..!

  • Marie Sorrenti-carson
    August 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    please do not be decieved………………….jesus is the truth and the life, he is the son of God no man can get to the Father except thru the Son of God who is Jesus Christ the Messiah……not just a good prophet, but the son of man………..”THE HOLY BIBLE”,

  • Yvonne Wallace
    August 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Is 60 The light is brighter while the darkness is getting darker.

  • Marianne Hertel
    August 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Jesus said that we salt,and we the light of the world!! Shine on!! 🙂

  • Debbie Ptak
    August 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    i want to be a light for Jesus cant wait for your next article on this subject.GOD BLESS YOU

  • Rebecah Hutchison
    August 10, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I AM SHINING FOR GOD

  • Jeanette Zook
    August 10, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I realize I should shine more brightly! God help me to.

  • Birdie Lawson
    August 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    and help me also God

  • David McCollester
    August 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Guilt of the self for being separated from God and fear of persecution by the egocentric, vengeful masses that believe Love is actually weakness. Those are the two variables I see that cause hesitation in forgiving and Loving our brothers and sisters right now.
    People have been programmed to believe heaven is something that must be worked for, suffered for, sacrificed for, earned and attained later, when one “dies”. The whole non-forgiveness now thing, is a big white church at the head of the square. Symbols of guilt and avoidance in ACTUALLY atoning to Christ in the heart. The temple resides within and forgiveness starts within. The standard biblical Christian thought system was kidnapped in it’s infancy to omit the truth of Christ and control the masses.
    The only thing that must be worked at, is leaving the hell (ego) one is in presently, because heaven exists right here and now and it’s up to us to just transcend our personalities (ego) to realize it.

  • Jacqueline Baker
    August 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    SHINE, SMILE, HUG, LOVE..JESUS LOVES YOU ALL!!!!

  • Judith Columbo
    August 11, 2012 at 2:05 am

    God shines out to me

  • Marie Shirley Griffin
    August 11, 2012 at 2:14 am

    I hope that God shines through me …

  • marietexas2011
    August 11, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Marie Griffin
    I enjoyed your post!    I am trying to get a little message out there everyday.  My question this morning went like this: Come back to the LORD, your God, because he is kind and shows mercy. He doesn’t become angry quickly, and he has great love!  Joel 2:13   What kind of miracle does God have to perform for you to make you believe he is real? Hope you’ve answered that question before he returns. Your ETERNAL SOUL depends on it.
     
    In the year that I have been putting messages out there (this was one of my more “in your face” type), I have had only a handful of people “go off” on me.  Basically, I do as Jesus said.  I shake the just off my shoes and move on.
     
    I often wonder though, do the other folks actually understand how incredibly important this message is?  And how limited a time period we have to get it out?  I fear for God’s lost sheep.  Do they really understand that this is it?! If you don’t know who the Living God is and who his Son is, right here and right now, that your Soul will be banished forever … do they really understand what FOREVER means?  
     
    I truly believe that real hell would be to not be able to look upon Jesus’s face, or to hear the Lord say (about me), “This is my daughter, I love her.”  I cannot imagine a more perfect moment in time.  

  • Mary Johnston
    August 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Amen and even tho people are crooked in the world God Loves them not their Sin!

  • Seth Shewmaker
    August 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Praise God Almighty Forever, God Bless all, Amen!

  • Geraldine Lee
    August 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    May God still reign over sin.and continue to bless us as a nation who loves him our MIGHTY SAVIOR AMEN!

  • Sheila Anthony
    August 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Be still and KNOW that the Lord is GOOD

  • Sheila Anthony
    August 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Be still and KNOW that the Lord is GOOD

  • Martha Finazzo Scafide Tomago
    August 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    LIKES THIS

  • Carol Mazelli
    August 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Amen. Praise our Father in heaven.

  • Carol Mazelli
    August 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Amen. Praise our Father in heaven.

  • Carol J Palmer
    August 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    PTL for all the believers in the world. Life wouldn’t be the same.

  • Barbara A. Barbre
    August 12, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Amen!

  • Mary L. Errichetto
    August 12, 2012 at 6:35 am

    LET THOSE STARS SHINE ON!!

  • Sylvania Harrison
    August 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

    amen to this .

  • Phyllis Highfill Sellers
    August 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    amen!!!

  • Nell Odom Morris
    August 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Amen!!

  • Kimberly Mulqueen-Cobos
    August 13, 2012 at 2:46 am

    I don’t know, good reflection. Essay question for life. LOL Thanks

  • Pauline Dupree Majors
    August 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

    My Granddaughter, Malerie’s cheerleading squad is called the Shining Stars, and boy, do they shine.

  • Mae Mcelvain
    August 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

    God our creator appreciates the ‘GOOD’ things that people do….not the bad, rotten, evil that some perform….oh well…judgement comes to all…..good or bad!

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