A Lenten Facebook Fast: Why Kiss A Good Thing Good-Bye?

facebook icon in woman's eye
Despite its bad press lately, Facebook isn’t a bad thing. I still hold that Facebook is a great tool to give grace.
But when a good thing becomes an ultimate thing it’s an idol. When you’re willing to sin to feed it or sin if you think you’ll lose it, you may be feeding the beast.
 

Lent: Spring Cleaning For Your Soul 

When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, Timothy Keller writes, it is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshipping.
I shared 4 “idol-identifying” questions a couple posts back. And when the Spirit convicts me of inordinate time and energy going into Facebook—specifically a Bible study ministry group—I’d best change that. 
So then along comes Lent, a lovely 46 days (I’m including Sundays.) to forsake a good thing to make space for “more vibrant discipleship.” In other words, Lent is a great season to do some spring cleaning in your soul. It’s a great time to starve your idol. 
 
So I’m fasting from Facebook and the hardest part of that will be laying aside my baby, my Isaac, my little Bible study ministry, the  Wonders of the Word (WoW) group that I so enjoy.
 
Not, because WoW is bad, or Facebook is bad.   So why give a good thing up? 
 

Why My Facebook Fast?

It’s the same reason one friend is giving up a nightly glass of wine  for the month of February, and another friend is fasting from sugar for 12 weeks. 
 
The reason?
 
Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 6:12:  “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything. 
 
My focus, my energy, my “happiness and self-worth” even, is coming too much from my social media presence. I’m being mastered by a good thing— my online ministry. And any good think that is not God can morph into an idol. 
 
That’s why you won’t see me on Facebook (or Instagram or Twitter) for a while. That is reason #3 for a Lenten fast .
 
The other two are described  now, in a repost from April 2015, when I kissed ice cream good-bye. 
 
Why give up a good thing? Why wage an optional war? 
In a word, training. In four, Christ-exalting soul strength. Each time I skip a soft-serve and pass on pie a la mode, my soul gets a little stronger. Train yourself to be godlyPaul told TimothyI from a little thing like ice cream and am strengthened for bigger battles against greed and pride, grumbling and envy.
It’s called resistance training. 

 

Reason #1: Resistance training makes me stronger. 

Lent is testing ground; a time for spiritual resistance training. It’s a battlefield of sorts. Fasting shows what controls me, what comforts me. It exposes what I really live by: ice cream and coffee, Facebook and fitness? Or every word that comes from the mouth of God? 

Christian fasting-giving up a good gift for a time- is not about Stoic pride, or proving my love for God. It is about training in godliness. I work my soul in a new way to build spiritual fitness. It’s resisting what would lure my heart away from my all-glorious, all-satisfying God.

Fasting increases the strength of my soul. so, I will not be mastered by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12). That is why I kissed ice cream good-bye.

If I can’t deny myself ice cream for six weeks, how can I resist the more habit-forming, tempting tastes of pride and envy, of anger and impatience?

A heaping bowl after dinner and a long run every morning and notices on my phone could all have me for breakfast. When my happiness hinges on those, I’m done. I’m captive.

All are innocent pleasures. Caffeine and ice cream, Facebook and fitness are gifts from God. And all can move subtly to become an end in themselves. To enslave.

Ice cream has that power?

It does. Or did. And so does coffee in the morning and posting that elusive “100 likes” photo. A sub-seven minute mile can do it for me, too.

But I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing his suffering, becoming like him in death (Philippians 3 :10-11). Starting with these little denial deaths. Paul said he counted everything rubbish that he could know Christ. Little food and Facebook fasts make me strong for big soul fights, because in them I know Christ better.

But there’s one more big I kissed ice cream good-bye. 

Reason #2. God gets glory when we call on him for help to resist temptation.  

C. S. Lewis hinted at it. Only those who try to resist temptation knows how strong it is, he wrote. And Christ is the only one who never yielded to temptation. 

Jesus was like us in every respect, and because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:14-15). He can sympathize with our weakness, because in every respect he has been tempted as we are, yet was without sin. 

And here is how Christ is exalted. It’s when we confidently draw near to the throne of grace, to receive mercy-forgiveness when we fall and find grace-power to keep from falling-to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).

He gives mercy and grace. I call, tempted and weak. Christ answers, sympathetic and strong. I called, you answered; my strength of soul you increased (Psalm 138:3). 

That exchange- I call, God answers- is soul-strengthening, Christ-exalting soul training. 

But what does look like in real life

For me, it looks like closing the freezer without sneaking a bite from the pint in the back. And refusing to peek at Facebook one last time to check if someone liked my post. At Arby’s last week it was Thank you Jesus as the rest of the family shared a Jamocha milkshake. 

That’s freedom. It’s starving idols that would ensnare and enslave me. That’s some Lenten cleaning for my soul. But we don’t go it alone. 
 

We don’t call uncle; we call Jesus. 

 
Help me stand stand firm. Fill the hollowness. And please remind me of your truth.  Like this. 

 

  • It might be countering your itch for human praise with this reminder: Let another praise you and not your own lips. 
  • Or dueling with envy the minute he starts to whisper, You ought to have a four bedroom, sunny-side house. Nope: Godliness with contentment is great gain.
  • And striking with the sword of the Spirit when despair over a failed friendship falls. Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God. He’s the lifter of your face. 
  • Or wielding the Word to kill worry when the infection spreads to your kids. Cast your cares upon him, for he cares for you. And, Commit your way to the Lord. 
  • Or trading gratitude for grumbling, when we feel entitled to better this, or more that. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

That’s how God gets glory when we strength train. The One who was tempted in every way, who is right now interceding for us, His strength is exalted when I work my soul muscles. 

Then we really know the truth we talk: no temptation can seize us beyond what we can bear. God truly is faithful to provide a way out so we can stand up under it. That kind of resistance strengthens our spiritual muscles. 

Yes, we are a Resurrection People; Christ is Risen indeed! My sin is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. We stand forgiven at the cross. But our battles aren’t over yet. 

Jesus suffered and died so I won’t have to suffer is NOT its message. It’s He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).

The cross isn’t just past. The word of the cross is to us who are being saved the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18). John Piper says the cross of Christ is not merely a past place of substitution. It’s also a present place of daily execution.  

It is not just history. It’s a present way of life for the Christian. It’s Colossians 3:5, Put to death what is earthly in you. It is Roman’s 6:11, Consider yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ. And, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 

 

But remember, fasting and denying are not ends in themselves. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it (Luke 9:23-24). The Lenten fast always leads to the Easter feast.

In heaven there will be no self-denial because none of our desires will tend toward sin. We’ll be with the Bridegroom and we won’t fast. Oh no.  We will feast

That this our fast of forty days,
May work our profit and Thy praise!

The ancient hymn, Audi benigne Conditor describes the bonds between our bodies and souls. Anthony Esolen’s translation beautifully expresses how God is glorified when we bring both into subjection. When we resistance train in the present power of the cross. 

(You might sing it to the tune of the Old 100th, Praise God from Whom all Blessing Flow.)

Our sins are grave indeed, but we,
Are far too frail to bear the blame;
Spare us, and bring the remedy,
Unto the glory of Thy Name. 

So while we make our bodies lean,
Prune back our spirit’s pride within,
That hungering hearts made strong and clean,
Shall leave untouched the food of sin.

Grant, O Thou blessed Trinity;
Grant, O unchanging Unity;
That this our fast of forty days,
May work our profit and Thy praise! Amen!

That’s why I kissed ice cream (and Facebook) good-bye. 
*First posted in April 2015, as “Cross Train: Why I Kissed Ice Cream Good-bye”

Facebook, Gracebook?

Why I Won’t Kiss Facebook Good-bye (But thought a lot about it.)

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?  
John 5:43

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. 
1 Corinthians 10:31 

I’m done. I deleted it. My Facebook account is goneThat was a month ago. I saw Lynn today and asked if she’d had second thoughts, if FOMO (“fear of missing out”) was getting to her. Never, she said. I was hooked and now I’m free


Addiction comes when a person engages in a pleasurable activity, but with continued action or use the activity becomes compulsive or harmful. You post a pic and look for likes. The number in the little red circle on the little blue square goes higher, higher, higher. Breathless, now you press it. The buzz of praise feels good. But it’s fleeting. More, more, more. So pose the kids and post again and push the little blue button for more.

Some of my friends don’t ever drink. They can’t safely have even a sip. Some say they can’t ever bring Cheetos home because they’d devour the whole bag alone. And I have friends who don’t ever go on Facebook. One look and temptation would have it’s way. Facebook is addictive for some.

Christians’ chief end is to glorify God. In our joy and in our love. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love. And if I have a thousand friends and three hundred followers but have not love, I am nothing.

And if your right eye causes you to sin, flee. Fly you fools, warned Gandalf. But if Facebook helps you to chief end-makes God look big and extends love’s hug-by all means, use the tool.

Use The Tools

3 Right Reasons To Use Social Media

We use tools help accomplish tasks. The right tool for the job, we say. Tools are a means to an end. Facebook is a tool. We’d best treat it as a means to these God’s good ends.

1. Give Grace
For the Christian, the purpose for any post or tweet or like or comment is to give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29). Our main motive for any comment- because God knows motives are mixed- must be to give others grace. So when a friend’s birthday notification shows up, give grace. Dig out an old photo and make her day. Or scrolling shows a friend’s died dad a year ago today. Send a card. Build each other up

2. Give Thanks
The right end, the will of God? In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Are your posts and comments an overflow of a thankful heart? Do your posts express entitlement and discontent or gratitude to God and friends? Do you thank God for the kind soul who drove your lost wallet home and paid your Girl-Scout cookies forward? Do you thank the one who write posts that encourage and instruct you in good? 

3. Give Glory
In all we meet, at all times we are to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior (Titus 2:10). That, by the way, takes manifold, glorious forms. Photos of funky fall fungi or brilliant spring tulips both point to God’s glory as Creator. So can status updates of cancer-cured or God’s-with-me-in-my-weakness. And just plain merry old posts, like when a kids says your do looks like a Chia Pet and your sap turns to amber candy. I share those. Because a merry heart is good medicine and laughter is God’s gift. 


Fly, You Fools

3 Reasons To Flee Facebook

Facebook’s temptations are many. We all stumble in many ways, and are tempted in different ways. Some fall to sloth’s drift-along ease and some to the pride’s self-adulation.  Others are prone to pride’s flip-side, to the self-pity and envy that come with comparing.

1. Undisciplined Drift
Distraction and entertainment and floating along are not Biblical virtues. They are marks of the godless. For people will be lovers of self…without self-control…swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (2 Timothy 3:2a-4) Disable, delete, disconnect- because the disembodied can’t show love as well as real bodies. Deanna has four kids under ten. They need her now, and Facebook takes her downstream away from her kids. Deanna is not on Facebook.

2. Green With Envy
My friend Jess has told me how envy sneaks in whenever she joins the Facebook fray. The athletic kids, the bouquet-bringing husbands, all the witty words provoke Jess to envy. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passion and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy…Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another (Titus 3:3). Jess is guarding her heart from envy’s bitter root. Jess is not on Facebook.

3. Slaves to Man’s Praise
For by what a man is overcome, but this he is enslaved (2 Peter 2:19b) That slavery bit- that’s why fast from it time to time and nearly kissed Facebook good-bye. Because I know my sinful, selfish, double-minded heart. I love to be liked. I like to be shared. I feed on comments and replies. I know this. So Abigail fasts from Facebook. And follows some Facebook rules.

Facebook Rules

I’ve learned that these self-imposed boundaries help me use social media as a grace-giving tool:

1. Not before the Bible. I won’t log into Facebook any day until I’ve spent time in the Word. First things must come first. Or I might drift.

2. Not in the bed. Fight both urges: To intimize technology and technologize intimacy. Enough said.

3. Not if I don’t know you. Following lives of friends we really see, gives us a place to start when we meet face to face. Following others on-line lives can show genuine care.

4. Not at work. Some can. I can’t. When I’m paid for my time, Facebook is shut.

5. Not for debate. Multiple friends- mostly men-have told me that divisive debates about politics and faith have ended their Facebook lives. It has not been a Gracebook. So I do not debate. 

My Facebook use must keep in step with these or comes the kiss of death. For me, it’s the slave to praise piece. I must constantly be on guard, and asking, Is this post, this tweet, this like meant to scratch my itch for man’s praise? Is that what’s driving me?

Jesus’ words to the Pharisees are a splash on my Facebook face: How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (John 5:43) And Paul’s words shock me, too: that the true Jew-the real believer- is the one who receives his praise not from men, but from God (Romans 2:29). And, Woe to you if all think well of you. 

I want God’s doxa– his praise- more than man’s. But I am sorely tempted here. It’s why I take time to read posts like this and reflect on them. Because I don’t want to be addicted to man’s praise. I want to give glory to God and give grace to others. I will not be mastered by Facebook.

Used, Not Mastered 

Bruce Hindmarsh is an author and professor at Regent University. He says God can be found on Facebook and in all other on-line technology. I agree. He says, We’ve got to live in the presence of God online and off…My world of email and texting and Facebook is not simply a secular world. God is there. Scripture and prayer and Christian fellowship, all the things that constitute the Christian life, are present in my digital world. God is there.

But Facebook is not for everyone. I close with a loose paraphrase of Paul’s words to the Roman Christians, 

One person believes he may comment and post on anything, while others only scroll or will not log on. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who has a strong Facebook presence, has it in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then whether we log-on or whether we delete our account, we are the Lord’s (Romans 14:2-4a, 6-8).

Nearly as many people are killed in car crashes as by drug overdoses. Danger inherent doesn’t mean we stop driving. It means we’re mindful when we get in a car. It means we buckle-up and don’t text and use turn signals and lights at night. For many, though, Facebook is more like drug than driving. Euphoria and rock-bottom at the touch of one little blue button. 

But we are the Lord’s. And by his power alone, we will not be mastered by anything, including Facebook (1 Corinthians 6:12). Social media will be one of many means to God’s good ends. 

We’ll use it to give grace and glory. Or if temptations rise high, we’ll delete the apps and fly. 

All to the glory of God.

Facebook, Friction & Growth

The appeal of digital fellowship often arises from the lack of friction, either keeping people together or holding them at a remove from each other…However, by holding me in relation with people who are unlike me and often opposed to me, the friction of materiality forces me to grow in healthy ways that I might not otherwise choose.       -Alasdair Roberts

Has this happened to you? 

You log-off Facebook to re-enter the “real world.” That’s where you brush real shoulders and shake real hands and listen to real folks talk. And where you might deflate a bit and be brought back to size. Smaller, most likely.

Odds are, if you have a strong social media presence-or wish you did– it’s happened to you. Maybe you felt it as you sat at a meeting or when you walked into church or sipped coffee with off-the-FB-grid friends. WhooooshThere you are, feeling shrunken, unnoticed, and undervalued. As in, These people have no idea who I really am. If they only knew about that last 50-like post. (Blush.)
Tony Reinke knows us, and he’s at it again-stirring us Christians up and forcing us to think deeply about the our use of social media. Tony’s whole article-his interview with British tech thinker and author, Alasdair Roberts- is well worth the 15 minutes it will take you to read. (Longer to digest.) 

But if time’s tight, here’s a 2 minute taste. Italics are mine.
[S]peak to the person who has a strong presence in social media, and they show up to church on Sunday where they feel undervalued, misunderstood, and unappreciated. What advice do you have for them to know that, yes, they are likely exactly where God wants them to be? 

I have been struck by how distorted an impression of social reality online media can give. The sharp sense of dissonance between our “strong presence” in social media and our seeming lack of “presence” in the Sunday morning meeting can be illuminating of this. When we experience this sense, it is perhaps a sign of our excessive self-regard that our first thoughts run to our supposed right to be more appreciated, rather than to the fact that so many of the people we worship with in our churches have little or no presence in our privileged and exclusive circles on social media. 

Our online contexts are dominated by relatively affluent, cosmopolitan, Western, highly educated, literate and articulate, young, middle-class persons. Children, the elderly, the poor, those with less education or lower levels of literacy, and persons from less cosmopolitan and non-Western contexts are largely invisible. That is, the majority of the human race.

How do you break free from the constant lure of online likemindedness in order to jump into the awkwardnesses of embodiment? What do you tell yourself?   

In resisting the lure of online likemindedness I have been spurred by a recognition that homogeneous communities tend to have exaggerated blindspots and unaddressed weaknesses. Exposure to the challenge of people who perceive, experience, inhabit, and understand the world differently is a necessary spur to growth. To the extent that online communities are homogeneous or homogenizing, it robs us of this. 

I have also come to appreciate that the problem isn’t solely with the “likeness” dimension of likemindedness, but also with the “mindedness.” Social media is an abstract realm that consistently privileges the mind over the body. However, the Christian faith has always been grounded in the life of the body. As Christians we don’t just share beliefs, open up about our feelings, and give opinions: We share meals and open our houses to others; we give to those in need, we meet together, and are physically present to each other. A “community” that lacks these elements is hardly worthy to be called a community at all.

To any of us who would bask in the glow of our social media presence, Roberts says, Embodiment is better. Carefully worded posts and posed pictures don’t often frustrate or rub us wrong. Which means they don’t help as much to grow us up into Christ. 

Presence among iron-sharpening, sometimes wrong-rubbing people can grow us in godliness more than our presence in a homogeneous happy-happy, like-like Facebook community. Which isn’t to say we forsake Facebook.* It is to say, however, that we don’t forsake physical assembling of ourselves together.

Physically present love grounds the life of the body

Follow the way of love. Love. Beyond word or tongue or comment or post. To action and truth. Frets and rubs– a bit of friction-help us grow in love. Let us not love in word or tongue but in action and in truth

Duly convicted, I’m, um, posting now and dashing off to bed. I want to be ready for morning. I want to welcome the warmth and growth that flesh-and-blood friction bring. I want to be ready for church. 

There, Lord willing, I’ll bring my embodied, none-too-smooth self and worship the Lord. A body that builds itself up in love

In friction-making, growth-stirring flesh-and-blood love. 
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25

*This is not to say we can’t express love and build the Body online, by being present in social media. More on that in an upcoming post. 

Like?

In (Wary) Praise Of Praise

Praise is inner health made audible. -C.S. Lewis

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, 

but a man is tested by the praise he receives.   

Proverbs 27:21

Why be wary of praise?

I recently put the bow on a big birthday. I pray this post is more than a rationale for posting birthday pictures and soaking in others’ kind comments. That day, paired with Facebook’s fast feedback forced the issue.

Decades ago, well-meaning friends would chide, Learn how to take a compliment. Don’t shrug it off. Little did they know. Blind to the depths of my heart, they didn’t see how my coming of age meant coming to terms with man’s praise.

But I’m onto it now. By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved (2 Peter 2:19b). Since I’m aware that pride dogs me, I’m wary of praise. I’m on guard, and sometimes it means I still don’t take a compliment well; I shrug it off. Battling isn’t always graceful.

We all crave praise to some degree. It’s built into us. The proverb says a man is tested by the praise he receives. It feels good to be affirmed. Mark Twain quipped he could last two months on a good compliment. But some of us can barely last two minutes.

If the praise buzz fades and you crash, beware. Likes and retweets and man’s praise are a short-lived highs when your hooked. If you’re slave to them, you’ll need another fix the second they stop. You feel unsteady, un-affirmed, and insecure without more pings and new notices. You’re addicted. 

If you’re a slave to praise and a lover of likes, be very wary. Be wary of places where wise, witty words get likes, and #humorous hashtags get tweets, and clever crafts get pins. Alcoholics avoid bars. If your right eye causes you to sin, Jesus warned. Maybe it means a fast from Facebook.

When a frenzy of likes finds us feeding there at that trough, high on human praise we must fight. It’s still with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. We call to mind, Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord. And, God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. And, The Lord regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. 


Human praise can feed pride and leave us craving. But pleasure in being praised need not be a guilty pleasure.

When is pleasure in praise pure?

So how can we tell if our joy in being praised has crossed the line and turned to pride? 

C.S. Lewis parsed pride and praise in a most helpful way. Pleasure in being praised is not necessarily  pride:

Before leaving this subject [of Pride]: I must guard against some possible misunderstandings: (1) Pleasure in being praised is not Pride. The child who is patted on the back for doing a lesson well, the woman whose beauty is praised by her lover, the saved soul to whom Christ says ‘Well done,’ are pleased and ought to be. For here the pleasure lies not in what you are but in the fact that you have pleased someone you wanted (and rightly wanted) to please. The more you delight in yourself and the less you delight in the praise, the worse you are becoming. When you delight wholly in yourself and do not care about the praise at all, you have reached the bottom. (Mere Christianity; Book 3, Chapter 8)


But pleasure in being praised is a good thing, provided we revel in knowing we have pleased another. To seek another’s joy is a good thing, and gettintan atta’ girl when you’ve hit that mark is a fitting reward. Paul urged, Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up (Romans 15:2). Rather than sinful pride, what we feel when we are praised for pleasing is proud response, 

What, in the end, is maturing in the faith but learning more and more to find our joy and pleasure in pleasing Another? Whether we are at home or away, we make it our goal to please Him (2 Corinthians 4:9).  

The pure pleasure we find in pleasing God is intended by Him. It’s not “sub-biblical motivation for holiness,” Kevin DeYoung writes. It’s akin to a parent saying, “God is our Father and when you listen to what Mommy and Daddy say and you try to do what they want you to do, it makes God really happy. He gets a smile on his face when he sees you trying to do the right thing.”  

Why praise the woman (or man) who fears the Lord? 


1.  Praising the good in others glorifies God. Praising goodness in others exalts the God who gave them the good gifts.

Way back, St. Augustine observed, “He loves thee too little who loves anything together with Thee which he loves not for Thy sake” (Confessions, X 40). When we praise a good thing- a son sharing a much loved Lego, a husband seeing patients gratis, or any man or women who fears the Lord-we’re delighting in what delights the heart of God. 


2. Praising the good in others encourages them in the Lord. Let’s be like Jonathan who went to David and strengthened his hand in the Lord (1 Samuel 23:16).

When we praise one who fears the Lord, we give them strength. To keep fighting the good fight; to stay patient in singleness, joblessness or barrenness. To keep casting cares to God, speaking truth in love, forgiving all over again. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30). 


3. Praising the good in others fuels our joy in Jesus. It feels good. Praise is not merely the expression of joy, Lewis wrote, but the consummation it. 

It happens when we drag your spouse out to see a spectacular sunset, or post the picture of it. How many times have the floodgates of thankful joy opened wide when I stop to jot a note of thanks! God uses our giving thanks and offering praise to release us from self-absorption and pride and discouragement. Praising others produces joy in the praise-giver and its receiver.

*      *      *      *      *   
I’m still a sucker for birthday wishes. I live long on a good compliment. I love kudos and bravos and plain old ‘atta girls. I do. But I will not be enslaved by them. Neither man’s praise nor Facebook likes will be my highest joy and my very great reward.

Church, we’re betrothed to One, and it’s his praise we seek.

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” 
Matthew 25:23