I have to admit I had to do some research to write this blog. No doubt I’ve heard bits of Chronicles when it’s cropped up in the lectionary, but I couldn’t have told you what was in it at all before finding out about it to contribute to this month’s #digisdsciple.
Chronicles was originally one book but has been split into two, and appears to draw on the same material as other books which tell the stories of the kings of Israel. It is mainly concerned with the reigns of David and Solomon, and the author of Chronicles seems to have organised the material to put them in the best light possible, leaving out anything that would reflect badly off them.
Coming at 1 Chronicles from the angle of digital discipleship, this started me thinking about what I call the PR aspect of social media – when we use it to create and propagate a favourable image of ourselves.
I think the temptation to do this may be particularly strong for Christians, because we feel that everything we do affects how people see our faith.
Of course the instinct to represent Christianity in its best possible light is understandable. But I wonder if we can really ‘game’ social media like that? It’s often obvious to other people when we’re trying to create a good impression.
The Twitter hashtag #humblebrag is devoted to celebrities who are trying to appear self-effacing, while actually telling people how important they are. I wonder if there was a Christian #humblebrag, how many of my tweets would appear on it?
When I was suffering from depression as a new Christian, I found the Psalms really helpful. Many of the gloomier ones reflected the state of mind I was in – stuck in a deep pit. Finding feelings and thoughts in the bible that reflected my own experiences helped me hold on to my faith.
I’m not saying we should go out of our way to be negative on social media, and never mention our joys and successes in life – that would be equally unrealistic!
But if we seek to reflect the whole reality of Christian life, with all its ups AND downs, we may strike a chord with people who are struggling in a way that no amount of #humblebragging can.
Information about Chronicles can be found at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4371-chronicles-books-of