Word pictures, inspirational sayings, wise and funny quotes are all over the internet. I imagine your Facebook feed and every other social media site you visit is full of them. Instead of mindlessly reading and passing them on, we can do better — we can use this opportunity to create word pictures that share Scripture and challenge people to live godly lives. First I’ll rant a little more about the problem and then present a very fun and easy solution to it.
The junk that clogs social media
We’re told pictures get passed on and short text is read and there is some truth to these statements. But whatever the reason, social media is clogged with images and short statements. Here are a few from my Facebook feed today…….
I have lost my mind and am making no effort to look for it.
Hey you, yes you. Stop being unhappy with yourself. You are perfect.
Making a hundred friends is not a miracle. The miracle is to make a single friend who will stand by your side even when hundreds are against you.
Though these sentiments may have a tiny modicum of humor or inspiration in them, at best they are dryer dust to the mind — useless fluff that clogs coherent thinking processes. At worst, some are flat-out biblically wrong and dangerous thinking for a Christian who wants to grow in Christ.
What isn’t helpful to anyone who wants to grow as a disciple of Jesus
I feel like an out-of-touch shrew in commenting on this, but constant repetition of unbiblical sentiments isn’t a harmless, trivial thing. Our life is shaped by what we look at and think about. Here is one example of how this can have a negative effect on our spiritual growth.
The many variations of “We are perfect,” as quoted in the sample above, constantly come up to assure us it’s OK to eat too much, be mean if we feel like it, and continue in whatever other habit we know we ought to change.
It’s obvious that we aren’t perfect. We never will be in this life. At the same time our Savior expects us to work on perfection, our growth in Christ, and progressive sanctification. The biblical term “perfect” or “perfection” has the meaning of completeness and maturity, and though the Lord is always there to help and forgive when we fail, we are expected to strive toward this goal. From the Old Testament command to Abram:
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. Gen. 17:1, KJV
To the New Testament commands:
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt. 5:48, NIV
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom. 12: 2, NIV
It isn’t OK to tell ourselves we are perfect as we are and to pass on quotes that encourage people to smother realistic guilt that can motivate change.
Even if many of the quotes are not as blatantly false from a biblical perspective as this one is, they certainly do not fit into the command to think about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil.4:8, NIV)
To compound the challenges, not only do people read this junk, but they comment on it, praise it, and pass it on to others.
Are there no alternatives?
That’s the question I asked myself and of course there are — sometimes a true and worthwhile quote comes up. But there needs to be more and I wanted to come up with a way for people to create Word Pictures like these easily and to post worthwhile and true thoughts (many great quotes from Christian writers) and Bible passages. After trying various ways to create these, and there are many, the one I liked the best, is to create them using PicMonkey. I like this program because it has the ability to create good-looking backgrounds and put great-looking type on them easily and cheaply (for free if you don’t mind some advertising on the system).
PicMonkey is a funny little program. It started out as a photo editing one and one for adding special effects to photos, but it has matured into a really great program that allows you to create good-looking Word Pictures. The interface is unique, but not difficult. What I like most about it is that the typefaces available in the program work quite well for word pictures and if you don’t have an image you want to superimpose them on you can create a variety of special backgrounds from within the program.
For more to help you create church communications that will help your church fully fulfill the Great Commission, go to: http://www.effectivechurchcom.com