O LORD, our Lord, how magnificent is your reputation throughout the earth! You reveal your majesty in the heavens above! From the mouths of children and nursing babies you have ordained praise on account of your adversaries, so that you might put an end to the vindictive enemy. When I look up at the heavens, which your fingers made, and see the moon and the stars, which you set in place, Of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them? Of what importance is mankind, that you should pay attention to them, and make them a little less than the heavenly beings? You grant mankind honor and majesty; you appoint them to rule over your creation; you have placed everything under their authority, including all the sheep and cattle, as well as the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea and everything that moves through the currents of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how magnificent is your reputation throughout the earth! Psalm 8:1-9 NET
When people pay attention to us, they help to build and promote our reputation–whether it ends up being a positive one or a negative one. I think I remember an adage about, “in order to get people to recognize your worth, any publicity is good publicity.” I probably didn’t quote that exactly right, but the intent is there.
Where am I going with this? It would appear that my efforts (though minuscule) to gain recognition for my books, were nothing compared to the recognition I’m now getting for simply having an opinion and expressing it through news threads. Wow! I’ve already gathered over 200 pages of data–responses to comments I’ve made on social media. That to me is fascinating! I never knew having an opinion could ignite such a plethora of responses–some supporting, but most–absolute vitriol.
But here’s the thing–I recognized a few years ago that when people can hide behind anonymity of social media, they feel free to let their true natures rule their fingers. Now, I have no idea who these people are–on a personal level–but I’ve come to enjoy the exchanges. For those who agree with what I say, I feel I gain a friend, but for those who engage in name-calling and subtle threats–I’m continually amazed that little ole me can rile a person up the way I apparently do. So, instead of engaging in the hate–and I never do–I’ll either question what they say or simply thank them for giving me relevance. Those who resent my comments hate my direct responses to them and I gain more data for the book I’ve decided to write about the, Hate That Hides Behind The Anonymity of Social Media.
On all of my social media accounts–because I promote my books–my face is not hidden (except on one as an experiment), my profile states accurately what I believe and my purpose for writing, and I’m not afraid to express my opinions about a news article. That’s the thing–I express opinions about news articles, not individuals–not even the news outlet–and people go crazy. I never knew I had that much power! Well, now that I do, I think I’m going to do everything I can to exploit the situation and give God glory in the process!
I recognize that when we are obedient to God–though some may disagree–we never know what He has in store for us–the blessing from being obedient. Now it would appear that I don’t have to concern myself with marketing my books, I’ll just keep expressing my opinions and lead people to my books. What an awesome God we serve! Through the expression of my honest opinions, He is opening the door to a reputation (good/bad publicity), an avenue that I might not have explored or discovered on my own.
Lord, I thank You for speaking to my heart, guiding my thoughts and my fingers and for all You can and will accomplish through an act of obedience.