Online Community: Dangerous or…Awesome!?

There is a danger in blogging. It is is possible to forget that online personalities are never a full disclosure—that a few comments and a Gravatar are not sufficient for knowing a person’s heart and character. There is potential to substitute a virtual community for the real thing—giving the blog project precedence over the tangible needs and relationships around me.

However…sometimes really cool connections happen through blogging!

I recently started having a Skype video bible study with a young woman in another state whom I connected with through—you guessed it—blogging! We’ve never met in person, but we have weekly “face to face” conversations about the most significant thing in both of our lives—our relationship with God. We challenge, encourage, and build each other up in the faith—and just generally get to know and appreciate one another.

It is frustrating to know that we won’t be able to go out for coffee and a chat on a Saturday,  or hang out together at church events, or get our kids together for afternoon play-dates. But I do get to be in her home for an hour or so each week. Of course, my view depends entirely on what’s directly behind her head wherever she’s sitting with the laptop. Still, I figure if she sits in a different spot each week, and we keep this up for a couple of years, I will eventually get a tour of the whole house!

Joking aside, it’s been really fun—and though it’s just in the beginning stages now, I anticipate good fruit coming out of this for both of us.

John 14:21 was in our reading this week, and I found it to be both a sobering challenge and a wildly encouraging promise.

John 14:21 (NASB)
21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

Here’s how I understand this…

If we love Jesus, we’ll obey him and live for the things that are important to him. When we do that, it blesses and pleases the Father. And Jesus, seeing our love and faithfulness, will be inclined to share his heart and perspective with us in increasing measure. (Conversely, I suppose, Jesus has no reason to show us more of his heart when we do little or nothing to indicate that we are much interested in it in the first place.)

Do you think that’s a fair summation?

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5 thoughts on “Online Community: Dangerous or…Awesome!?”

  1. Me too.
    “Conversely, I suppose, Jesus has no reason to show us more of his heart when we do little or nothing to indicate that we are much interested in it in the first place.” I think that’s very well put. A stunning insight into what is always a difficult passage (does Jesus only love us if we obey?)
    Thanks.

  2. 🙂
    I agree. It makes me think, though, of a few really great people that I know who aren’t actively seeking God, and use the fact that He hasn’t disclosed Himself in any way that they recognize as an argument for His non-existence or irrelevancy. It’s tough to combat in an objective way!

  3. Thanks for your comments guys–good to hear your thoughts. I apologize for taking so long to respond. I haven’t mastered the schedule as yet this school year. Still trying to get to a place of more consistent blogging (reading and writing). Looking forward to more good discussions!

    1. Well I’m glad I’m not the only one that struggles to write three times a day…..
      Although I haven’t got the excuse of a family to fetch, feed and fellowship with.
      Even so, we also look forward to more good discussions!

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