The Basics Of Discretion
By: Danny Wallace
Facebook has changed the world. Before the day of social media we had the privilege of being selfish, egotistical, and narcissistic in private. Our friends knew it, and our family tolerated it from behind gritted teeth, but the rest of the world was oblivious to our complete self-focus. Now the whole world knows just how far south, the north of our heads can see.
To their credit, there must be thousands of people on Facebook who do good deeds for people everyday. You would never know it, because they don’t write about it. They don’t write about it because the deed wasn’t done for the public, or to promote their benevolence. It was done for the person – enough said.
Opening the door for others, removing our hats indoors, and standing when a lady enters the room are manners that are as valuable and welcome today as they were 100 years ago. “Thank you” never goes out of fashion. Likewise, self-promotion will always be as tacky as wearing white shoes in late September.
Grow up, Christians. We don’t need special prayer just because we have to get out of our comfort zone long enough to help somebody. The fact that we need prayer to do what is right is telling in itself. We need to get over ourselves and stop turning every moment in our lives into a Publicist’s dream day, or a public spectacle on par with the Pharisees. If somebody needs help – help him. There is no need to advertise, or beg for prayer as we struggle look righteous before the cameras.
Believe it or not, the world isn’t interested in our religious struggle to appear righteous. If they’ve been listening, they already know exactly what we’re all about. The help we offer doesn’t need to turn into a dissertation about our aching body, and the delay of your daily devotion because our personal schedules have been disrupted. To quote Jesus, “You’ve received the reward you seek.” Everyone gets it – it’s all about you.
When we fast, we wash our faces and appear to the world as if our bellies are full. When we do good, we don’t even let our right hand know what our left hand is doing. We don’t announce our fast, and grumble about the struggle, anymore than we post our good deeds on social media. Just because we “can,” doesn’t mean we should. Social media can be a valuable tool, or it can become nothing more than “mirror, mirror on the wall – who’s the fairest of them all?”
Our mirror, our voices, and our pen should always reflect Jesus – revealing the basic manners of discretion.