This morning after my quiet time with the Lord I decided to go and check the nest a robin has built outside our bedroom window. If I stood on my very tippy toes I could just make out a bit of blue through the leaves and branches, the tell tail hints of a new egg! I wanted so badly to take a picture and share this precious treasure with the world via Facebook. But branches and leaves blocked a clear view and chance for a photo. My fist thought was to grab some clippers and lean out my window to cut away the offending foliage. But immediately I realized that to do so would also remove the soon to appear baby’s only form of concealment and protection, both from predators as well as the elements. My attempt to bask in the temporary glow of public attention could very well result in permanent damage for those who need protecting most.
How often am I tempted to do the same to my own two children? How many times do I desire to share their lives with the world in an attempt to gain a few likes or lols from my friends? Even if my desires are rooted in need for prayer or council, have I removed their only protection? Am I exposing them to the elements in a way could harm their very souls?
Even though my children are now teenagers, their father and I are still their primary form of protection from a world that desires nothing more than to destroy them.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)
And what better way for the enemy of their souls to accomplish that than by exposing them to the judgment or labels of others.
Their lives are just that, THEIR LIVES; they are not sermon illustrations or Facebook fodder. They may make choices soon enough to share their failings and foibles with their own chosen online community. Or they may choose to live more quiet and private lives with a few close friends. But it needs to be their choice, after all they are the ones who will have to live with the results.
I wonder who might the Lord may be asking you to protect. Maybe it is your children, your spouse, family or friends? What if He is asking us to stretch that cover of protection beyond our homes and intimate circles? Perhaps He is asking us to protect the grocery store clerk who lashed out after a hard day, or the barista that messed up our drink order? Or will we continue to expose them in order to gain momentary sympathy, attention or even a few laughs for ourselves?
So for now I will only share my family’s joys and triumphs, with their permission of course. Not in an attempt to show the world a sugar coated view but in an attempt to live in obedience to Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.