Go ye therefore by texts and twitter
By Jimmy Cochran
Through the fog of almost sleep, I heard the dinging. I glanced over at the clock next to my bed and it read 12:17 a.m. Through my groggy state, I realized it was a text message alert. The sensible thing to do was to ignore it, which I tried to do, however my curiosity finally got the better of me and I knew I might as well get up and go see who it was. Plus, their constant attempt to contact me was only going to drive me to a criminal act if it continued.
I recognized the name immediately as one of the teenagers at a former church. I replied to him with a rather snarky “WHAT! It’s after midnight, dude! Go to bed!” His reply almost stopped my heart. He was in a tough spot ... a really bad place ... and needed some help. Not financial help (as in bail bond), but spiritually. He felt as if he were losing his way and needed someone to talk to in hopes he could find himself and God again. Peer pressure was getting too strong, he was making some bad choices and knew the consequences would be coming. He did not feel like God would let him come back and he felt so terribly alone even though he was in his home with parents and siblings. You know, that kind of alone that you can feel when God seems so far away, and the road ahead seems too far and so dark and so lonely. It is night and the fears increase as the shadows come and the thoughts of sleep seem impossible. You are afraid to sleep because tomorrow may come and that is not what you want. You cry out to God and you feel that He can’t quite hear you. You are alone. Totally alone. So, you reach out to someone for help. Someone that he knew would not judge him or condemn him; someone who would just listen.
We talked for a long time in that early morning conversation and when we finally signed off, he knew that God loved him as much as ever and would forgive him. He knew that God was there in his bedroom and would be watching over him as he slept. He knew that God would be there the next morning when he woke and with him all day at school. And, most importantly, he knew that God would be there when he began to change his friendships and reverse the choices he had made. I slept very sound that night because I knew my boy had come home to his God and would be a stronger Christian young man as a result.
I think we as Christians often miss out on many methods of ministry because we get so hung up on the traditional ways. You know, the cards, the phone calls, the visits, and so forth. There is a vast world of technology available for evangelism that is scarcely being touched. One of which are the various social media services. You chat back and forth, day by day, and grow relationships with friends and neighbors that you already know. Even though it is not an anonymous service, you have that feeling and you find yourself at times being more honest and open than you would in a face to face setting. It can flow naturally into evangelistic conversations and discussions of encouragement and support.
God will bless any effort that we make on His behalf and I have been blessed using technology. I certainly enjoy and prefer the personal encounters of sharing Christ with others, however, there are times that human pride may get in the way. So, we adopt screen names and visit websites, blogsites, and text into the wee hours of the night. My friends, we should never take lightly the responsibility we have as we post and journal on our respective sites. We never know who is lurking out there and may be touched. God created the minds of people who created the advancements in technology. Let’s claim it for His glory!
And so my friends, this is the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Amazon.com. Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.