Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Intimacy and Social Networking

One of our recent Care Net staff devotions was on the topic of intimacy. We were challenged with the following questions:

  • What characterizes intimacy?
  • What inhibits intimacy?
  • Do you long for intimacy?
That night, the movie, “The Social Network” premiered. I went to see it while some of the discussion on intimacy was still reverberating in my brain.

The movie is about the phenomenon known as Facebook. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what social networking is, and you know that Facebook is king of that universe.

The story centers on Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, a 19-year old wunderkind from Harvard, whose awkward personal relationships seem to indicate that he knows little about intimacy. But with his brilliant mind and computer programming skills, he designed an online network for strangers to connect with each other as “friends.”

The fantasy of Facebook is that it promotes some level of intimacy with all those people who have “confirmed” you as a friend. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On the other hand, shared passion promotes intimacy. The more difficult or challenging that passion, the more likely that the people involved will form close relationships and thus, develop a level of true intimacy with each other.

Working in the pro-life arena is born of a God-given passion for life. It reflects intimacy with God, who put that passion in our hearts, and called us to serve Him in a very counter-cultural way.

1 Timothy 6:19 challenges us to “take hold of that which is truly life.” If we are to “take hold of that which is truly life,” we need to seek intimacy with God. And the only way to do that is through repentance.

Repentance is the required ingredient that leads to intimacy. Facebook may have a few confessions posted online by some of its 500 million members, but that’s not the same as repentance.

After spiritual repentance and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, sanctification leads us to “good works” that God prepared in advance for us to do, for His glory (Ephesians 2:10).

Working in pregnancy centers reflects intimacy with God because it requires a repentant heart about abortion. We are privileged to do these “good works” and serve others as a true reflection of God’s heart. He has given us an honorable way to “take hold of life.”

In our sex-saturated, death-promoting culture, having a passion for life can only be from God. Sharing that passion with others leads to true intimacy.

No amount of social networking can compare with that.

Paula Cullen is Care Net's Regional Representative for the Pacific Northwest.