I have a confession to make. I don’t tweet. I know, I know. Neanderthal. I’m not against social networking. I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn. But sometimes the exploding number of networking options leaves me feeling I’m being hunted down by stalkers who promise all kinds of benefits if I’ll just PAY ATTENTION TO THEM! How ironic that one of the first names considered for Twitter was Friend Stalker. I rest my case.
Twitter was birthed in 2006 in a San Francisco park. Co-creator Dom Sagoll and a bunch of techie friends were chowing down Mexican food, brainstorming ways to create a dispatch service to connect people by phone using text. One of his first tweets was, “oh this is going to be addictive.” Today there are more than 50 million tweets a day.
I suppose it’s just a matter of time before I jump into the Community of Crippled Thumbs and lapse into communicating in abbreviated 140-character messages. The good news, though, according to FORBES writer Samantha Ettus, is that about one-third of the people on Twitter don’t actually tweet! Instead, they develop carefully selected lists of people or industries they follow, to keep them informed on what matters most. The more carefully selected your list, she says, the more value you receive.
Ettus inadvertently stumbled onto an important spiritual principle. It’s not who you know but who you follow. Choose carefully who you follow, because it makes a difference in your life.
Actually, Jesus is perfectly capable of speaking for Himself and He has no trouble saying something substantive in 140 characters or less. For example:
- Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matt 6:27)
- I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
- Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.(Matt. 11:28)
- Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. (John 14:1)
- Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:15)
- Love your enemies and forgive those who persecute you. (Matt. 5:44)
- Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:13)
If Jesus was on Twitter, He wouldn’t be announcing a flash mob or giving a shout out to Ashton Kutcher. With Jesus, the message was always personal, offering comfort, compelling us to be fully who we were created to be.
Reportedly, 8,463,739 people follow Justin Bieber on Twitter. But I’ll stick to Jesus. He’s been around a lot longer, He follows me, even when I fail to follow Him and every word He says has the power to change my life.