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Last night a new Twitter follower sent me a direct message. Before I tell you what it said, you have to understand that I have yet to receive a direct message that was not asking me to buy their product or hire them to change my life. This one was different.
Social media is a big part of my life. In today’s vernacular it would be called my platform, but to me, social media is simply the vehicle I use to bring attention to my friends who need customers for their businesses, or to promote organizations whose values I respect, or congratulate achievements, publically express thanks, wish a happy birthday. Most of all, social media is the one method I use to instantly encourage one person or a hundred. It’s free, it’s quick, and it’s always sincere.
Since I have your attention – you’re reading this aren’t you? I think you’ll agree that social media opens up avenues of expression that didn’t exist even 20 years ago. For good or for bad, social media is our modern megaphone with the benefit of indelible sky writing.  (Now you know why they call it the cloud.) If you say it, write it, record it – it sticks. There’s a verse in 2 Corinthians 5 where Paul says “We make it our aim to always please God.” There was no internet back then, but the Bible doesn’t morph with the times. Our goal should be for every act to be pleasing to God.
When someone follows you on Twitter, it’s common courtesy to follow back. I’m extremely picky about who I follow because once I connect with them, their values feed right into my information stream through quotes, articles and photos they post. True, I can block them, but why invite the first offensive post to begin with? When someone follows me, I read through some of their tweets and if they pass inspection I reply with my cyber style Hello. “Thanks for following. Treat yourself to joy every day!” It might sound crazy to you but it makes perfect sense to me. Hello – let me encourage you.
So yesterday I followed back and said “Thanks for following. Treat yourself to joy every day!” Within minutes I received a direct message: I appreciate the Follow. If I may ask, would you share your mission statement? Many thanks!
In 140 characters or less, could I describe my mission? It brought to mind this passage in 2Corinthians 6:4-7 (CEV) Paul is talking, but it explains so well what is on my own heart. “But in everything and in every way we show that we truly are God’s servants. We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times … We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food. But we have kept ourselves pure and have been understanding, patient, and kind. The Holy Spirit has been with us, our love is real, we speak the truth, and God’s power has worked in us. In all our struggles we have said and done only what is right.”
“If I may ask, would you share your mission statement?” Hello. And yes, yes I can share my mission statement.  “To use my gift of encouragement, to share God’s love, and make a difference in the world.”
When you meet someone for the first time or for the millionth time, what comes after Hello?