We love to describe the millennial generation and avid social media users as being full of narcissism, but posting a selfie to Instagram and hashtagging to get more followers does not necessarily mean you’re self-obsessed. When looking at our social lives, whether online or off, the important question to ask is, “What is your bottom line?” What is the purpose?
In the most famous sermon ever given, Jesus says to the crowd gathered in Matthew 5, “You are the light of the world…people don’t light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand.” Regardless of your beliefs about Jesus as a deity, it’s easy to see that this is pretty solid teaching.
What are you passionate about? Better education? Renewable energy sources? Affordable yet stylish fashion design? Every single one of us has “light” to shine, gifts to share, and a message that we believe will make the world a better place. This, in my opinion, needs to be our bottom line, the driving force behind each and every post, conversation, and friend request.
Now, this doesn’t mean that every last tweet needs to blatantly push the message of your bottom line. That would be annoying, and wildly uncreative. Being in a musical on Broadway, I do a lot of posts about the show on all different forms of media. Is this just because I want people to come see the show and applaud for me? No. I’d be happy if they bought a ticket, but I don’t do it for that. I do it because I know that with every follower I gain, that’s one more person who might be led to this blog and inspired to use their creative gifts to spark positive change and glorify God. That is my bottom line. That is my light, and each day I do my best to place that light on a stand, both on and offline. It’s not self-promotion; it’s inspiration, generosity, and connection.
If you are your own bottom line, then I’m not much interested in what you have to say and, my guess is, neither is anyone else. But if your bottom line is a message, cause, or mission that will bring hope, love, healing, or inspiration, then shine bright for everyone to see. Don’t put your light under a bowl, put it on a stand.
Follow jon on Twitter @jonjorgenson