The latest pastime of many influential people, including Christian leaders, has been to” tweet” their thoughts throughout the day. Many entries sound so productive, so thoughtful and at times humorous. Our thoughts that we choose to “journal” on social networks may not tell the whole story. I wonder sometimes if many of our private journals sound like our public ones. I wonder if some of the spiritual giants of another era tweeted what we might read. What if someone like Robert Murray M’Cheyne tweeted his thoughts?
In the Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, who was a godly Scottish preacher, we can read of one struggle that many of us may share: how we use our time. In one journal entry after spending an evening too lightly, he writes:
My heart must break off from all these things. What right do I have to steal and abuse my Master’s time? ‘Redeem it,’ He is crying to me.
In another entry on February 2, 1832:
Not a trait worth remembering! And yet these four-and-twenty hours must be accounted for.
And yet another on August 15:
Little done, and as little suffered. Aufully important question, Am I redeeming the time?
It should be understood that M’Cheyne never expected these journal entries to see the light of day. These are merely excerpts of the many trials, failures and triumphs that he experienced. But it does beg the question about sincerity in the public journaling of our lives. There is always a temptation to make ourselves look more spiritual, more humble, more productive, more clever than we actually are. Would M’Cheyne face that same temptation if he had tweeted? I’m sure of it.
I have read some very God-honoring and transparent thoughts on various forms of social media, but none of us can escape the fact that God truly knows the intents of the heart.