> @StickyJesus 10) cost: everything

In celebration of Internet Evangelism Month, this is the tenth in a 15-part blog project discussing the book, @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online.

A lukewarm Christian life hurts you and everyone in your path.  Mostly, it hurts the Father who created you. Not only is your own life disconnected from the power of the Holy Spirit, but it’s likely you are seriously confusing the people around you. And for that, you’ll be accountable someday. ~@stickyJesus

Our spiritual temperature drops when we decide the cost of committed Christ-”followship” is too great, too inconvenient, too painful. To fulfill our calling as Jesus followers and God glorifiers online or anywhere we must be willing to sacrifice…

  • Time to build relationships (including the most important One of all)
  • Wants and needs to serve and meet the needs of others
  • Pride to endure rejection and ridicule for God’s glory
  • Self to fulfill His purposes

Luke reminds us not only that the sacrifice is a daily choice, but that the rewards are worth it! “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.’” (Luke 9:24 ESV)

Just as Christ offered His body to be broken on our behalf we, as members of His body, have the privilege of being broken for the benefit of those whom He seeks to save! With that in mind, can we break our plans and plan time for Scripture study and prayer? Can we devote a good portion of our online time and energy to encouraging and strengthening others and delivering the love and grace of the Gospel? Can we set aside our pride, enduring negative comments and even losing readers, to stand up and stand out for Christ?

The struggle is daily but finite. The reward is unimaginable and eternal!

There simply isn’t a way to calculate what love invested on earth renders in heaven. ~ @stickyJesus

For discussion:

  1. Have you ever been tempted to water down the Christianity of your online presence in the interest of increasing or maintaining readership?
  2. What cost of online Christ-”followship” has been the biggest struggle for you…and can we pray for your victory over that struggle?

[image by Elsie esq]

@StickyJesus 9) Quiet: The Humility Zone" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/23/stickyjesus-9-quiet-the-humility-zone/">9) Quiet: The Humility Zone <– @StickyJesus – The Group Blog Project" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/02/introducing-stickyjesus-group-blog-project/">@StickyJesus project –> @StickyJesus 11) demystifying: Facebook" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/27/stickyjesus-11-demystifying-facebook/">11) demystifying: Facebook

Lisa is a pastor's wife, mom and personal blogger at Life is Crazy Beautiful. God's plans (which sometimes seem CRAZY to me) & His presence are what make life BEAUTIFUL! Lisa is on Twitter @2krazybeautiful.

27 Responses to “> @StickyJesus 10) cost: everything”

  1. Lisa, beautifully done.

    You pose a great challenge when you ask the question about our online presence and the motives for why we do what we do. For those that are social media 'popluar' and get a rush from delivering daily what their general audience wants – it's hard to make the quick switch to a track that points to heaven. Three things can happen when you do:

    1. Some friends find the change disturbing and perhaps uncomfortable. You are NOT what you ‘use’ to be and somehow the new you doesn’t quite ‘fit’ anymore. If pressed, they’d say the things you talk about now embarrass them. They'll either drop you or simple refuse to engage with you anymore. (or at least not engage for awhile)

    2. Then there’re those that remain pretty much silent and sit on the sidelines– not sure, but certainly curious. They continue to follow and often find themselves more eager than they expected to hear what you have to say or watch what you are up to now. Every once in awhile, they give you a little nod to let you know they're still around.

    3. And finally, there are the ones that connect instantly with your faith, know your passion, and are inspired to stand up right right there beside you. Some emerge from your existing crowd and others like you-find you.

    I have experienced all three of these as I've gotten bolder about living out my faith out online. And you know what? I believe God is at work in the hearts of ALL those we encounter or that encounter us!

    Candidly, the decision to serve and exalt God always comes with a cost. Turnover in your tribe will happen, but oh the miraculous things God will do when you make your decision to keep your focus online-on Him. And yes – there is no way to calculate the impact of your obedience on eternity and how that decision will ripple through the lives of everyone that encounters you.

    For me, II Corinthians 4 is my go-to chapter that keeps me centered on the mission and the outcome. Every word of it speaks to me about this time we have been born to and what we are called to do in it. The things we see are temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal. Because we believe-We MUST speak.

    Joining you in prayer today! Thanks for unfolding this chapter for us.

    • 2krazybeautiful May 25, 2011 at 10:44 am

      Thanks for the reference Tami! From 2 Corinthians 4 (The Message): 1 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.2 We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. This would be great to keep next to the computer…and bookmarked in my phone Bible!

      It has been great to learn from each other with the posts & comments!

  2. Wanda Simpson May 25, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Thanks for this post Lisa. You remind us that ours is an important task that requires dedication and love to fulfill. It is difficult to be broken, but with Jesus as our example, we can overcome. To me watering down or sugar-coating Christianity and covering up who Jesus really is will not reach those who need it most. During this project the word authentic has been used a lot and I believe that is the only way we can reach people. We have to be authentic in our posts and we have to portray Jesus as He is. He wouldn't have it any other way. With so many people searching for answers, especially in light of all of the turmoil around us, we must be vigilant in our online message and our online life.

  3. lanephotographyonline May 25, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Great post! I would appreciate some prayer. I feel as though the Holy Spirit is speaking and trying to work in my life. I feel like God wants me to somehow intercede Him into my blog and business for my clients and other photographers. I just don't know how that is. Please pray that God would speak to my heart and let me know the path to go and how to get started.

    • 2krazybeautiful May 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

      I am honored to pray for you and your desire to shine Christ's light through your work. Desire to please God and seeking His wisdom are incredibly important steps. Thanks for the ask!

    • Father God,
      Show Lane a clear path to follow, open the path up now for your child Father. We love you Lord and thank you for the Holy Spirit that lead us. I ask for open hearts and minds this day and everyday there after. Amen

  4. PaulSteinbrueck May 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for your post today, Lisa. "Have you ever been tempted to water down the Christianity of your online presence in the interest of increasing or maintaining readership?" That's a great question. I certainly wrestle with how much God to include in my blog posts, Tweets, and Facebook updates. I want my blog, http://LiveIntentionally.org and tweets resonate with everyone who wants to make the most out of life, regardless of their faith. So, while Jesus is infused in everything I do, that may not come through explicitly in every post and update.

    One of my biggest concerns, though, is that because I tend to be more bold and discuss more spiritual issues online than off, that people who I know offline who then connect with me online may think there's a disconnect – like I'm a different person online and off. I wonder if anyone else has that concern?

    • I do Paul, very much so. Even though I work at a church I am sure my witness offline isn't as strong as it could be. With God's prompting, I am learning to be more bold. This book really has helped.

    • 2krazybeautiful May 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      I'm with you Paul…I want to be as bold offline as online! I know what you mean about wanting your presence to encourage everyone. I blog about life in general and I hope my faith is evident…even though not everything I share or write about is strictly "spiritual". Thanks for sharing!

  5. Good post Lisa! We do need to be sold out to Jesus in our everyday life….and especially in our online life. Although our actions speak louder than words…I do think the Spirit lead words we post can really make a big difference in people's lives as God directs them to our posts. He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life…and our desire should always be to point others to Him and to the Good News!

    • 2krazybeautiful May 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      True – we think of our online presence as mere words…but it involves action, too – when we pray for or send an encouraging message to someone, or reach out in other ways!

  6. Wow Toni, love this post. Thank you for say this "We are not the persecuted. We are the privaleged."

    • PaulSteinbrueck May 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Absolutely! No matter what happens online, I'm still sitting in a comfortable chair in a safe, air conditioned building. That's something 90% of Christians around the world can't say.

  7. Toni,
    Your joy infused boldness continues to encourage and inspire me- keep bringing it sis :-) Oh, and uh, let's think about those "missed" corporate promotions for a sec. What if you were selected for those promotions, and what if those promotions turned you into some big corporate honchess who didn't have time for anything else? like the message of sticky Jesus? oh, the thought! Thank you for being steadfast in the faith. For surely, what we do for Him will last.
    XXOO

  8. Lisa, just like File 10, your great post gets right to the heart of the matter for me. Jesus, either I'm in all the way, or I'm not — be it online or offline. Offline, I was pretty sure I was all the way in for Jesus. It was online that I struggled to let my light shine. When I first started connecting w/ friends from yesteryear online, boy oh boy! I had something to prove, and it wasn't always the hope of Christ. Thank God for deliverance!

    "'To fulfill our calling as Jesus followers and God glorifiers online or anywhere we must be willing to sacrifice…"
    That sacrifice for me at times has come at the risk of looking or sounding foolish, too zealous; I've been mocked, even excluded. It can get really uncomfortable. However, I can't say t enough, that I am grateful to God for connecting me with folks who are not ashamed of the Gospel and who are determined to live their faith out online- what a treasure!
    Thanks again Lisa- Blessings!

    • 2krazybeautiful May 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      I struggled so much at first, connecting with the secular friends and followers. I wanted to be salt and light without sounding overbearing or "preachy". I used to worry maybe I was (even though I tried hard not to be) when I noticed some minor un-following and un-friending. Then I realized those few incidences coincided with me posting nothing but scripture (no personal opinions, etc). How they respond to the Word is their issue. I just need to be prayerful and seek wisdom with my own words and how I share them!

      • "I just need to be prayerful and seek wisdom with my own words and how I share them"! I am sothere with you on that :-)

        Thanks for sharing your gifts!

  9. such a powerful chapter!
    i included this quote in my post (see link below) and for me this is what sums up the cost: “There is a cost, but when you are in love with God, it seems like no cost at all.” -Damon Thompson
    and when i think about the ocst of the cross…. any cost i have pales in that great love…

    http://onepassiononedevotion.wordpress.com/2011/0

  10. I would have to say that the best Bible Study, of which I’ve ever been a part, is the Experiencing God Bible Study, by Henry Blackaby and Claude King. It constantly gave me a pounding, right between the eyes, concerning the Love Relationship God is always wanting to establish, with each of us. This point about having to make a sacrifice, in order to follow Jesus, was driven home to me, like never before, when we read and discussed the words of Jesus, in Luke 14:33. Jesus says,”So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything he has for me.”
    I firmly believe that for those of us, who are involved in a ministry, what we do with this one verse, is the difference between a mediocre ministry and a ministry that is fully empowered by the Spirit of God Almighty.

  11. You know, I haven't encountered ridicule or rejection–that I'm aware of. Maybe folks just stop following or paying attention. Or maybe I'm not bold enough?

    Yet sometimes I stop to pray that I can be as bold in my offline relationships as I am online.

    I responded to this chapter back in February with a prayer/poem.
    http://sandraheskaking.com/2011/02/reflections-on

    • 2krazybeautiful May 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      As per my reply above…I've only noticed a few "unfollows" or "unfriending" after posting scripture. I have never encountered any negativity or rejection online as of yet other than that, but I do know others that have. Still, it cannot compare to the suffering of so many around the world even today (let alone our Savior).

      Thanks for the link. LOVED your poem…bookmarked it!

  12. Lisa your post was fantastic. A good stop in your tracks and do some alignment thinking kind of post. We need that every once in a while. It's easy to drift off course online if we're not deliberate. So far I've had a few atheists respond to me because I keep Jesus front and center online. This has been so rewarding because I've never met one (at least that I know of) offline. I believe God planted some strong eternal seeds during those encounters. Knowing I get to be a part of His plan to reach out to individual hearts in this way is mind blowing. I'm willing to suffer ridicule for that!

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