THREE PEAS IN A POD! There is an old saying, “They are like two peas in a pod.” People meant by that two people were a lot alike. They were similar to each other in appearance, beliefs, habits, interest, etc. When you open up a pea pod the seeds look a lot alike. As I read Facebook I think there are three peas in a pod that plague a lot of people. The first pea is a lack of or a need for patience. When you live in a society that is used to “instant everything;” from food, to service, to communication then patience appears to be in short supply. When we drive up to the window we want our food now. When we click on Google we want the answer to our search now. When we call someone we want an answer now and to be put on “hold” is one of the most irritating things in the world. Someone has defined patience as, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I suspect God works on our patience sometimes by arranging things that try our patience. The Apostle reminds us, “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,” (Colossians 3:12 ). Just maybe some of these things that happen in life are there to make sure we eventually learn to wear the right clothing such as patience.
Another thing that looks a lot alike for many people on Facebook is pain. Sometimes when you read on Facebook you think life is one gigantic party and you are missing it. Then you read on and it is clear many people are suffering terrible pain that falls into the areas of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual trauma. And from this arises questions like: “Why them and not me?;” “What can I say that will help?;” “What can I do to ease their pain?.” And often we don’t have any answers. We can only empathize with them and pray for them. But sometimes God may have led us through these areas of pain and we may have some answers to offer but we need to be careful in the way we offer solutions so we don’t add to the pain. God’s Word tells us to, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ,” (Galatians 6:2 NIV). When we see the pain expressed on Facebook we should help with burdens if we can and if appropriate but we are also reminded in the Bible where each person must take their pain and problems is to Jesus, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV). We see and are disturbed by posted human suffering but often Jesus is the only answer and our only possible response may be prayer. And one danger you must be aware of on Facebook is that the multiplied stories of pain can overwhelm you and lead you to be depressed. If so maybe you need to take a break from Facebook.
The third pea in the pod I have noticed on Facebook is Problems. People have problems; personal, political, interpersonal, and way too many to mention here. And it appears that the only place some people have to express those problems is on Facebook. Really? Is it necessary to take to the public forum every little problem or even major problems that one has and often slander other people in the process? Do we really need to embarrass ourselves and others with problems that ought to be resolved privately or in other ways that don’t demand a public forum? It is one thing to look for solutions to problems but it is quite another thing to create even more problems by placing personal problems on a public forum. I think some people post on Facebook to just try and create problems among people. Don’t we have enough problems without intentionally trying to create problems? So if you look for solutions to problems, including prayer as a solution, and your post doesn’t slander or hurt someone then share appropriately and I pray God and others will help with your problems. After all we all have problems. As we share problems let us remember the admonition of Jesus recorded in the Bible, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,” (Matthew 12:36 ESV).