As an introvert, I really struggle with the idea of exposure. I like to engage people and situations at my own pace, and being forced to do so before I am (seemingly) ready, makes me extremely uncomfortable. The feeling of being unprepared–and then have that unpreparedness exposed is almost frightening.
But I’m also bothered with exposure and our culture. As our technology has evolved, we’ve become people who, at times, overshare. Our entire lives are available for public consumption and critique thanks to wonderful technology tools such as cell phone cameras, and sites to immediately share with hundreds (and even thousands) like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I’ve been guilty of being sucked into watching horrible videos/pictures of people wearing ridiculous outfits, trying crazy stunts, or other foolishness. But I have to admit that it now makes me extremely uncomfortable, and it really bothers me. It’s one thing when people post their own craziness, but who are we that we feel that it’s okay to publicly display someone else’s mess?
I now feel that providing this level of exposure for someone else is not only inappropriate, but it’s equally disrespectful. We don’t know their life circumstances that got them to that place. But also, the time spent recording or photographing them could also be spent encouraging them or pouring into them. It’s so easy to take a picture of “those people” and laugh it off. But if I look back over my life, I can easily identify several times where I was the hottest of hot messes and I am SO glad that there was no one there to expose me. Instead, people took the time to tell me to “get my life”, to “do better”, and invested energy in helping me in both areas. My life has been changed because of people who were willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus in my life, overlooking my faults and seeing my needs.
I’m challenging myself to be more open to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in these situations, be willing to share Jesus with others and be a source of vocal encouragement as opposed to silent critique.
Be encouraged! Peace and Blessings!