Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? ~Matthew 9:1-5
As I write my blog this week, I am sitting at the airport getting ready to fly across the country to attend a leadership conference in Atlanta. In a little over three hours I will be 1,900 miles away. Away from my house, my family and my church. I will get on an airplane and leave everything behind. Or will I?
In this modern day of social media and technology, I can call, text, email, Facetime, check Facebook, and know everything that is going on back home. I can leave it all behind, yet take it all with me. That hasn’t always been the case. If, 100 years ago, I had left on a trip, no one would have been able to reach me until I returned back home. It is amazing how technology can bring us together and makes the world so small.
In all of the advancements that social media and technology have brought to us, the younger generation of children and students know nothing else. There is a generation that doesn’t know a world without a cell phone, Google, Facebook or unlimited texting. Many have no recollection of MySpace or Napster, as technology just keeps advancing. With these advancements, the thing that we often lose sight of is how it effects how we understand God.
When we talk about prayer and how we can always be in contact with God, we can reference a cell phone. God is with us everywhere. We can reference Facetime as a way of making God more relational and available. However, when we talk about forgiveness and sin it is much harder to talk about. We are told that what we post or put online will last forever. I tell Jr. and Sr. High students to be careful about what they put online and text because what they do today could affect them 10-15 years from now when they look for a job after college.
We live in a time that doesn’t forget. In fact my wife, Becca, has an app on her phone that looks at her Facebook page and brings back memories that happened on the same day years earlier. Some are good memories, like the birth of our children. Some are sad, like the passing of loved ones. The app doesn’t miss a day because it doesn’t forget,
In Matthew 9:1-5, Jesus heals a paralyzed man simply by saying, “Your sins are forgiven.” When accused of blasphemy, Jesus responds by saying “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” The idea of forgiveness is easy to understand, yet it is so hard to fully comprehend. When we come to God and ask for forgiveness it is more than just deleting a post or text, or taking down a picture, which still leaves a footprint of what we have done.
As technology continues to advance and social media becomes a constant reminder of our past, we must not forget to experience God’s forgiveness. When it comes to our faith in Christ, We must never lose sight of the fact that when we ask God for forgiveness, when we turn our sins over to God, through the work of the cross he makes them disappear; vanish. He cleans the slate, not just for now, but forever. No matter what social media tells us, we can have confidence that when we humble ourselves before our Lord and ask for forgiveness, we can leave it all behind at the foot of the cross.