Do you lie about yourself online?

One of the things about the internet I find less than great is you can very easily create a over-important fake version of yourself. You can get so much into your own personal stats on your blog, or the amount of twitter followers or Facebook friends that you began to believe you are more important than you really are. How many times have you heard of people lying to someone online about who they really are. People do it all the time they lie about their weight, age, interests because they can. I know you find people who do that deplorable as do I, but what about us? What about pastors? In kids ministry like anything in talking about what we do right we can paint a very different picture that what is actually reality, because we all win sometimes and lose sometimes. I find that in talking about our wins all the time people may start believing that we never lose.

One of the things I try to do in raising our kids is give them a realistic view of a imperfect person striving to be what Christ has called me to be. When I grew up most parents felt that it was important to project a perfect image of themselves to their kids. I don’t believe that works. I think kids learn just as much from the times you screw up as they do from your greatest victories.

In blogging the past few years I just realized I haven’t always done that with you so I thought it would be appropriate to start a new series of posts called “The things I did that didn’t work.” The internet is a powerful tool (thanks again Al gore for making it) but I believe that a healthy dose of reality always helps. I have learned a lot of things over the years but the single most important thing I’ve learned is that I don’t know everything and need to keep trusting God for direction and learning from others along the way.  I encourage you to read along and share some of the times you messed up because I think as much as we learn from what we do well. We can learn just as much from what we didn’t do so well.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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32 thoughts on “Do you lie about yourself online?

  1. Sharing the times I messed up. Wow! I think I could post one-a-day until the end of my life and never exhaust my whole list. 🙂 I couldn't agree more with you about creating a false persona. I think it happens intentionally all the time when people lie about themselves. Perhaps more deceptively though, I think it can happen unintentionally which seems to be what you're addressing here. I know that, particularly with online blogging and social interaction, I have the same concerns. I don't want people to think I am something I am not or that I somehow have all the answers. In the end, we are all just trying to live our lives in the best way possible and hopefully honoring God in doing that. I'm looking forward to the series and the discussion which I hope it will spark.

  2. Sharing the times I messed up. Wow! I think I could post one-a-day until the end of my life and never exhaust my whole list. 🙂 I couldn't agree more with you about creating a false persona. I think it happens intentionally all the time when people lie about themselves. Perhaps more deceptively though, I think it can happen unintentionally which seems to be what you're addressing here. I know that, particularly with online blogging and social interaction, I have the same concerns. I don't want people to think I am something I am not or that I somehow have all the answers. In the end, we are all just trying to live our lives in the best way possible and hopefully honoring God in doing that. I'm looking forward to the series and the discussion which I hope it will spark.

  3. Sam – this was an awesome post. I spoke with you on the phone a few months ago about multi-site and I really appreciated your openness about what was hard. I appreciated that you didn't pretend to have all the answers. Just this week I've tried to get into a better habit of blogging, and this issue was one of the biggest deals to me. I want to share what I know in case it might help others, like Bro. Jim says, but I don't want to come across like I think I've got it all together. That is FAR from the truth. 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real!

    • Jenny thanks for your kind words. Funny you should bring up multi-site when it comes to multi-site I think I may have more things that I haven't done right vs. what I have done right. At the end of the day it comes down to motivation. My goal is not to become a big shot my goal is to be to other people what I wish someone was for me when I started.

  4. Well said bro! How insightful and how true.

    Parenting has been a messy place for me. Trying to get it right on my own has been nothing short of a disaster. Those first few years were eye opening. Trying to hold all the pieces together while trying to be a perfect wife & mother was exhausting. Not wanting anyone to know how confused i was, i would just try harder, hoping to appear to "have it all together." The more i tried not to look messy the more i sank. With a DRIVING desire to be the "perfect parent" and have the "perfect kids" i found myself imprisoned to a life of illusion. It had taken a toll on my husband, children, family, friends, and relationship with the Lord. Though much of the desire to be perfect had been a silent inward focus, silent it was not.

  5. Well said bro! How insightful and how true.

    Parenting has been a messy place for me. Trying to get it right on my own has been nothing short of a disaster. Those first few years were eye opening. Trying to hold all the pieces together while trying to be a perfect wife & mother was exhausting. Not wanting anyone to know how confused i was, i would just try harder, hoping to appear to "have it all together." The more i tried not to look messy the more i sank. With a DRIVING desire to be the "perfect parent" and have the "perfect kids" i found myself imprisoned to a life of illusion. It had taken a toll on my husband, children, family, friends, and relationship with the Lord. Though much of the desire to be perfect had been a silent inward focus, silent it was not.

  6. …i have come to understand that no matter how i tried to ignore this lust of perfection, it was the underlining motivation for most of my actions – most of my life. By the grace of the Lord i am finding freedom and joy like never before. (Zeph 3:17) Though parenting is still messy, there is nothing as wonderful as living free from the pressure to clean it all up. i am learning how to trust the Lord in ALL things…what a relief. Though parenting can still be messy – i am having a blast!!
    Your sis ~ sarah
    love to the FAM!

  7. As someone who is really new to children's ministry serving in a new church plant (we are both about 2 years into it), I am realizing what a value the messups are to finding rhythm and learning more. I am really looking forward to this conversation.

  8. As someone who is really new to children's ministry serving in a new church plant (we are both about 2 years into it), I am realizing what a value the messups are to finding rhythm and learning more. I am really looking forward to this conversation.

  9. Sam
    You are my favorite Yankee and that is not a lie. We talked about this on the retreat kids need to hear about your mess ups so do other leaders. I am glad you are in my life

  10. Sam
    You are my favorite Yankee and that is not a lie. We talked about this on the retreat kids need to hear about your mess ups so do other leaders. I am glad you are in my life

  11. SHHHHH you're ruining it for the rest of us sam. YOU may be ready to admit you don't have a six pack and shark dive on the weekends with heads of state but I'm not there yet. I'm just your typical 6'2 semi pro ball player in the Euro league who can type 150 words a minute in 6 languages… Just your typical guy and I'd like to keep it that way

  12. I'll admit it. I was the Kenny Conley impersonator. I'm also glad I'm in Texas now so that I don't have to be a Yankee…. and know I'm not Jim's fav. 😉

    Great post Sam. Love the convo starters.

  13. I'll admit it. I was the Kenny Conley impersonator. I'm also glad I'm in Texas now so that I don't have to be a Yankee…. and know I'm not Jim's fav. 😉

    Great post Sam. Love the convo starters.

  14. Funny stuff – "Drug giant and Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly's stock prices soared today as millions threaten to leave Facebook. Stock analysts predict this will awaken Americans to the reality that they really only have two friends." ~ David Jordan