Ho hum, I've decided to take a break from Facebook for a month. So I've deactivated my account which must be the social equivalent of becoming a hermit. If you've already noticed and thought I had deleted you as a friend you have far too high an opinion of yourself and really need to get a life/sense of perspective/help.
Obviously that means no advertising this on my Facebook page so it will be interesting to see what happens to the hit count. And it means you'll either have to sign up to RSS feed or check here yourself to see when my blog has been updated. I know, hard work, somehow I think you can cope.
So why am I fasting from Facebook for a month? Do I think it wrong?
In a word: no. In a few more words: but it's best to be on the safe side.
"“You shall have no other gods before me."
Exodus 20 v 3
Anything in our lives can become idols. And the only way to deal with idols is to rip out of your heart. So just to err on the side of caution that's what I'm doing.
Why do you think Facebook is an idol?
Well, I think I route just that little too much of myself in my standing on Facebook. Those likes mean just that little too much for me to be entirely comfortable with. What's more over the last two weeks I've had about five different conversations about giving Facebook up. My excuses for not were being increasing futile in my own ears.
Why is it only for a month?
Facebook isn't a bad thing. In fact, in can be very useful. So I'm not giving it up forever. It's all about your attitude. I should be able to give it up at a moments notice so to prove I can and as an exercise in self control I have.
What do you think will happen?
Er...not much. I'll have a bit more time in the day which I'll try and spend on something profitable. And who knows? Perhaps ceasing to use Facebook will make me less inclined to either worry about what other's think or be self centred. Because at it's root Facebook is incredibly ego-centric. If something totally amazing does happen I'll let you guys know.
Join me! If you want - you've got nothing to lose and maybe something to gain. And look at it this way: without my profile to stalk what were you going to do on Facebook anyway? Boom.
It is my pleasure to introduce the following guest post on manology. It is written by a friend of mine, James Shrimpton, who has a regular blog called Ruminations of an Assistant Pig Keeper (if you get the reference award yourself some man points). As Proverbs 27 v 17 says: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" Enjoy!
Examples to learn from
After Ben’s slew of excellent posts on the new field of ‘manology’, I thought it was about time I contributed to the subject. I don’t have any new insights to offer, but I thought I’d show a few of the great examples of manliness that have inspired and touched me. Most of them aren’t perfect, but they are all worth learning from.
And no, none of them are Chuck Norris. Sorry.
“While men differ in their individual lives, there are certain great qualities which are essential in all noble manhood”
Truth, justice, perseverance, purity, humility, love, leadership. There are more, but those will do for our consideration now. We’ll consider three examples together now, the historical example, the Biblical example and the ultimate example.
So far we’ve covered a lot. We’ve established that to be a man you don’t need to be as swift as a coursing river, have the force of a great typhoon, the strength of a raging fire or even be as mysterious as the darkside of the moon. No, to be a man you must obey God. For what is the sole end of man but to glorify God and enjoy him forever?
But then we also realized that we can’t do this. As men, on our own, we can do nothing without God. We are nothing without him. Without God we are like the beasts of the field, we are a vapour, a mist, the grass, there for a little while then blown away by the wind.
Yet there follows a truth more glorious than any we have yet discussed. It is best expressed in that verse from Joshua which if you don’t know off by heart by now you should feel ashamed:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1 v 9
Hello Man, look at yourself, now back to me, now back to yourself, now back to me, sadly, that’s not going to achieve anything. I’m not the man I should be, the man I want to be, the man God requires I be and I’m not by any stretch of the imagination the man to hold up as an example of being a man. No, instead I’m the boy I don’t want to be, the child it’s easier to be, the spoilt brat that I wish I wouldn't be and the coward that embarrasses me. But it’s worse than falling short of my standards because, after all, my standards aren’t what matters. I fall short of God’s standards of being a man.
And it gets me down. I long to be more than I am, I long to be what I should be, I long to be like the men of God who walk the pages of the Bible. How then do we go about this? How do we go from unmanliness to manliness? How, in short, do we man up?
The secret has two parts. Let’s start with the first:
Without God you can do nothing
For some reason the words may run into one another. I cannot solve this. Sorry. It's probably the influence of Chuck Norris scaring my words to huddle together.
As you may have noticed from my blog postsof late the question of what it means to be a man is still wandering around myhead and occupying my spare thought capacity. What’s more I keeprunning into bible verses, sermons and other stuff that keeps the topic in mymind. In the providence of God I came across the following verse in my dailybible reading:
“When the time drew near for David to die,he gave a charge to Solomon his son. “I am about to go the way of all theearth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man,”
1Kings 2 v 1 – 2
These are David’s final words to his sonSolomon. And I love them as they essentially read: Son, I’m about to die, manup. But the question we must immediately ask is what did David mean by this?Fortunately he goes on to explain things to his son: