A few days ago, I was poking around, exploring my options to bulk-delete old tweets. Mistakenly, I authorized a web service which then proceeded to automatically start deleting every tweet from my account! At first, I was completely miffed — at both myself and the service. I mean, how could I have been so stupid to authorize something without first carefully reading the legalese of what it was about to do? Definitely not a shining moment for me.
But, on the another hand, if you’re a developer and you’ve created a service like this, that mass deletes something — anything — you sure as heck better write in there a two-step verification, “Are You Sure You Want To Proceed?” warning before your “service” just starts working. There was no safeguard, in this case. One click and bam! — tweets are lost forever. For as mindless as I was, that’s just bad design. Period.
Nevertheless, after I calmed down a little bit, it got me thinking: What am I honestly getting frustrated over? Tweets? Really? I’m losing my cool over bits and bytes of social media data that merely serve to boost an online profile I’ve carefully crafted? How serious is it that I lost those “likes” from Jared C. Wilson? How important is it “so-and-so” retweeted me? That my tweet got “x”-amount of likes? In the grand scheme of things, not very important at all.
After I followed that line of thinking for a while, I continued to push further into my own reasoning behind using Twitter in the first place. What was I doing with it? What purpose was it serving in my life? Was I really using it to glorify God and benefit others? Through an assortment of grace-driven sentences, film riffs, and LeBron rants, I had amassed a tweet history of over 21,000 (before they started deleting) For whatever reason, seeing that number struck a chord with me. 21,000 tweets. What was the goal behind all those? Edification? Or platforming? Encouraging brothers and sisters in Christ? Or boosting my online résumé? I honestly can’t say.
Actually, in a roundabout way, losing those tweets was sort of serendipitous. After all, you’re reading this piece on Medium. Let me explain.
For the last few years, I’ve found writing to be my absolute favorite pastime. I will carve out time in my schedule to write and study. I enjoy the chase of finding the right words to say — even when it feels like that chase has led you down to the bottom of a well. I love reading the Scriptures and finding new ways to exalt and explain God’s radical nature of “grace upon grace.” Even though I know it’s a fool’s errand to try and find all the ways this can be done, my sole endeavor remains to keep mining “the immeasurable riches” of God’s grace and “kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7) My goals haven’t changed. But the venue in which I hope to accomplish these goals has.
Today — September 1, 2017 — marks the beginning of my departure from The Majesty’s Men network of sites and the official inauguration of this corner of the Internet, Grace Upon Grace. To be clear, nothing sinister or malicious has occurred between me and the TMM community. I just felt the urge to move on, to find focus, and to concentrate more on writing and less on developing. What Medium affords its users is the space to just write without worrying about lines of code and cascading style sheets. This was extremely appealing to me. That said, even as I felt God move on my heart to leave the network I poured so much into, I felt torn. The TMM community of writers and editors is more than just another online network — it’s a brotherhood. It’s a collective of like-minded young men who are sold out to exalting Jesus’s name above everything else. That sense of belonging was real, palpable.
As such, with a heavy yet hopeful heart, I write this to mark the end of one journey and the exciting beginning of another. With the launch of Grace Upon Grace, my aim is to continue my pursuit of God’s timeless gospel of grace by investing more in the simple writing and studying of God’s Word. My prayer is that more of Christ would be seen, and less of me.
Likewise, I took this opportunity to engage in a “social media reset,” as it were — to reassess my goals and purposes for social media use, specifically Twitter. Samuel James and Brandon Smith have both recently blogged about their thought process behind leaving social media altogether. And while I commend them for making that call, I haven’t come to the same conclusion. The primary reason I’m keeping social media is the encouraging connections I’ve made with guys I’d call my friends, my brothers — guys I’ve never met but with whom I’ve shared countless conversations and through whom I’ve grown exponentially (I’m looking at you @meikoseymour and @obbietyler).
The secondary reason I’m keeping social media is the place it affords to share what God’s doing and working in my heart and life. My plan is to use both Medium and Twitter in tandem to encourage and be encouraged. Therefore, I’ve deleted all but a select few tweets. And I’ve changed my methodology behind what I share. I don’t want to over-share what I write, nor use the space to prop up my “brand.” I pray I don’t succumb to that (again) My aim is to simply share what I’m learning and what’s resonating with me. (Of course, this might still include some rare riffs on film and sports.)
I am extremely excited for this new venture. I’m stoked to just focus on writing and to reorient my time around the Word. Thank you for reading and following. I hope this space will serve as a great encouragement to you as we endeavor to live and serve the Lord with our lives.
Photo via Andrew Neel / Unsplash