Page 3 - October 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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nce upon a time, a person was  such signals are actually being received by
               considered virtuous by actually  other people? The number and nature of
        Odoing something (e.g., visiting  comments below our posts by people who
        someone  in  the  hospital,  helping  the  may not really know us is not necessarily
        neighbor with the lawn, inviting a family  an indication of reality. Why can’t we just
        to your home for a meal, etc.). Enter social  have the virtues without all the signaling?
        media. Now, without any stress, sweat or   If we’re honest, we’d have to admit
        sacrifice associated with such demanding  that such virtue signaling is actually
        tasks I can merely post a few lines within  an exposure of some of our deepest
        a few seconds to signal that I am indeed a  insecurities as well as a not-so-subtle
        virtuous person.                     demonstration of personal pride. And if
          Virtue signaling, as defined by the  we’re not careful we might find ourselves
        Oxford Dictionary, is “the action or  in the words of Jesus’ rebuke in His Sermon
        practice of publicly expressing opinions  on the Mount: “Sound no trumpet before
        or sentiments to demonstrate one’s good  you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues
        character or the moral correctness of one’s  and in the streets, that they may be praised
        position  on  a  particular  issue.”  To  be  by others. Truly, I say to you, they have
        accurate, virtue signaling is not entirely  received their reward” (Mat 6:2 ESV).
        new, but its avenues of expression are.   Jesus’ words remind us that even if we
        Enter social media, the great enabler of  are doing virtuous things, we are not to be
        virtue signaling. If I want others to admire  broadcasting them all over social media. If
        me for being a loving and faithful husband,  everyone has seen my photo proving that I
        within a minute or less I can “achieve”  helped spread the gospel at a Seed Sowers
        this by posting a passionate message to  event, or if I’ve posted that pic of me next to
        my wife on our anniversary. While I’m at  a believer I visited in the hospital, or if I’ve
        it, I may even add a quick post about my  tweeted out the details of my beneficent
        son’s recent graduation with honors and  trip to the homeless shelter, then perhaps
        how proud I am of his achievements. If I’m  I’ve already received my reward. A day
        upset about the way another Christian has  is coming when God will reward virtue
        just treated me, I can tweet a Bible verse  where it actually exists and where it hasn’t
        like John 13:34 and remind the world that  already received the sought-after praise
        I believe we should all “love one another”  of men. How pitiful should our reward
        just like Jesus commanded. The signals  consist of the cheap currency and praise of
        being sent are intended to lead people to  likes, shares and retweets rather than that
        conclude that I’m a good husband, proud  given by our “Father who sees in secret”
        father and obedient Christian. I wonder  (Mat 6:4) and won’t be restricted to 280
        if we ever bother to ask ourselves how  characters.

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