The Blessing that You Might Be Missing Out On
- Saturday, May 6, 2017
- By Jon Morrison
I don't cook enough at home. My wife has a toddler and newborn which demand a lot of energy. On top of that, she makes great meals for us. I probably should help her out more with cooking. When I do cook for the family, I try to really go for it. We are talking about creating a MasterChef winner, every time (where's the winky emoji when you need it...)
Here's my secret: to create these masterpiece meals, I Google, "World's Best ________ recipe" filling in whatever I am hoping to create (I go for "World's Best" because I wouldn't want my family to have to settle for "World's Second Best").
When Google delivers the recipe, I'm thankful in that moment that someone, somewhere at some time typed that recipe out. They have given. I have taken. If I'm honest, my Internet habits are like that all the time.
I'm taking when I read someone's thought-provoking blog post, status update or when scrolling through pictures. There's nothing wrong with taking per se - it's just that I realized how much I take without giving back.
In recent months I have been convicted by one line Jesus told his disciples. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
According to Jesus, you are more blessed when you give than when you take. You can still be blessed by taking. But you are more blessed when you give.
I don't know about you but I want to be more blessed than less blessed. To do that, I had to change my approach to how I engage online. I'm trying to give now more than I take.
Every time I open up my phone or laptop I try to remind myself, “What can I do to serve someone?” Every piece of content I create whether it is a blog, video, or a podcast session, is an effort to give in a small way
I'm predicting that the future of social media belongs to the givers.
I think that the most narcissistic will get blocked or ignored by people or even by the algorithms which get smarter and smarter about our browsing patterns. Programmers who create our favourite social media sites are learning more about us every day we engage online. They are learning what we want to see more of and what bores us. They want us to see more of the former to keep our experience enjoyable. If you don't like cats, they will make sure you don't see cats, or selfies, or someone's Candy Crush score.
Moving to the forefront of our newsfeeds will be those who help us become better spouses, parents, disciples, workers, entrepreneurs, pastors or leaders. We will keep looking to them while turning away from those who try to suck our attention without offering something in return.
Changes I Had to Make
In an effort to give more, I started blogging again. Then I started intentionally liking other people's stuff more and even writing a comment or two (because one comment is worth about ten likes, right?). I do this because it helps others know what they are sharing is noticed and appreciated. Another step further, I started a podcast with the goal of providing helpful content to anyone who wants it. That's how I start every conversation with my guests. I tell them, "This is about us talking but it is mostly about us helping people."
My hope is that these efforts will help. I want to add value rather than just consume everyone else's contribution. Freely I have received, now I want to freely give.
In writing this, I hope for two things: One to make an online confession that I have taken more than I have given. Secondly, I hope that you would pause to consider whether you have received the blessing of intentionally giving more when you go online. We can all make a difference in people's lives if we make the commitment to be givers.
In my next post, I will be looking at the biggest hindrance stopping us from being the givers we want to become.
What would becoming an online giver look like for you?