pearls before pigs

Posting Your Pearls Before Pigs

Nathan Smith Life Skills, Technology

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When does sharing a moment cheapen it?  I don’t mean sharing a moment with a friend over a cup of coffee.  I mean sharing every beautiful moment you see or experience on social media.  The reality of the day we live in is that people feel the need to share anything they like, enjoy or find interesting on social media.  As fun as that can be, I have thought a lot about how something goes from being special to commonplace.  Fine china is reserved for specific times and events.  Part of what makes it unique and appreciated is that it is not for common use.  What if it was used for everyday things like bologna sandwiches or dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets?  Surely it would lose part of what makes it special.  I wonder if social media has tempted us to use our fine china for pimento cheese sandwiches by posting things for everyone to critique that should be cherished in the moment with those we love? I pulled away from social media for forty days and pondered these things.  Allow me to ‘share’…

Like it or not, social media can become an all-consuming activity. During my forty straight days of no posts, tweets, snaps, friend requests, timelines, mentions or stories, I realized just how many times in a day I was pulled toward my phone to get an update. It was sobering.  Did I miss out on some things?  Yes.  Did I feel left out? Not at all.  The main reason is because I felt more present in the moment and it was very fulfilling. We may stay caught up with everything happening everywhere else through our social media accounts but it surely taxes our ability to engage with and appreciate the moment we are living in.  It’s not just that we’re checking status updates on other people, but when we pull away from the moment we are in and the people we are with to create the perfect post, we actually have removed ourselves from our own reality and are diluting the quality of our own experience. (Click here to read my post ‘Miles Apart In The Same Room’)

You Are Worth It

Our minds are ours to steward.  We can keep ourselves from being able to engage in long, deep thought because of the constant distractions social media create.  I noticed this during my 40 day hiatus and was shocked at how much more focused I felt throughout the day.  Attention was more fully given to the people I was with, the beauty around me and the task before me.  My mind felt more at rest and I was thinking longer thoughts about deeper things.  It was as if my brain switched from 100 meter sprint mode to marathon mode and it felt amazing.  When every task and personal interaction is interrupted by a status update or a quick check of the insta-feed we aren’t able to engage in deep conversation or thought. That has a big affect on the quality of our lives.

Jesus said that we shouldn’t ‘cast our pearls before pigs.’  What He was saying is that we need to be careful with the things that are precious to us.  Much like the fine china being set apart for certain audiences and certain occasions there are moments and occasions in our lives that are not for the masses. They are special.  You may be thinking ‘that’s the whole reason I share it on social media, because it is so special to me’.  Yes, but what is special to you can so quickly be devoured, consumed, critiqued, ridiculed, ignored, compared or mocked because we put it in a public forum that has no true respect for HOW special the moment is for you.  And for what gain?  A few double taps from people that felt obligated?  Value it enough to keep it treasured in your heart and mind.  Share the story and the photo with a dear friend.  Mary, the mother of Jesus didn’t run out into the public square the moment the wise men came and honored her son as King and Messiah.  The Bible said ‘she treasured these things in her heart.’ (Click here to read my post “My Smartphone Ate My Prayer Life”)

Each Moment Is A Gift (not a gif)

Depression is on the rise in our nation.  Anti-depressants are constantly in the top 2 categories of medications prescribed in America.  I’m not saying social media is the sole cause of that nor am I saying that social media has no positive value.  I just believe, after taking 40 days away from it, that we need to be mindful of how much of an impact it is having on our lives and our culture.  We have enough stresses in our lives to not be wondering who is going to think what about our last post, if anyone is going to notice it or appreciate it, or if we should delete it because someone is now offended.  Your life is happening in real-time and each moment is a gift, not a gif.  Don’t constantly cheapen the beauty of the moment or experience by placing it in the public voting booth of social media.  That is like posting your pearls before pigs.  Treasure it in your heart.  Share it with the Lord. Write about it in your journal and have something to talk about with your family when you sit down to dinner.  That might even be a good reason to get the fine china out of the cabinet. (Click here to read my post “Mind The Gap”)

From The Bible

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” – Matthew 7:6 NIV

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 ESV

And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. – Luke 2:18-19 ESV

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