These days it has become the norm to turn to social media for almost everything.
Trying on a new outfit in a fitting room? Instagram.
Have a new idea or compelling thought? Twitter.
Enjoying the perfect meal on the perfect day? Facebook.
But then there are the times when “stuff” happens. Things outside of your designated personal space. Things that are seemingly bigger than you. Things beyond your control.
Suddenly our social media feeds are flooded with posts recapping a particular event, or sending out love and prayers to a particular city.
Recently, the hashtag #staywoke has become increasingly popular. Woke is a slang term having a similar meaning to being awake, especially as it relates to social awareness. The phrase “stay woke” became the watchword in various parts of the United States and the world at large as it ushered in a lively discussion regarding issues of social justice and policy analysis among activists, organizers, and educators. So essentially, advocates are considered woke and encourage others to stay woke.
Being "woke" denotes awareness that the struggle is really real. It further implies that you’re down with the fight and that you’re a willing participant to end “the struggle”.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 1 Peter 1:13, NIV
The Bible talks about the concept of being woke too.
We are encouraged to remain steadfast, disciplined, and spiritually and morally alert in our spirit. In essence, stay woke. Be alert when it comes to the tricks of the enemy of your soul. Keep informed of the greater and sensitive needs of those around you. Remain ready to defend the gospel by your words and actions. Stay woke.
I think the phrase stay woke also has an urgent connotation, because it implies that some are not woke. Which means that some people, even Christians, are sleep walking through life.
So, how about you? Are you awake when it comes to walking in the call to righteous living? Are you actively showing compassion to those in need? Are you striving to share the love of Jesus?
The truth is that sometimes we are so easily distracted by our own stuff, that we forget we live in a world filled with hopelessness and despair.
As believers in Christ, we are called to become stalwart community voices, not just to protest social injustice per se, but to share the Good News of the gospel to a lost world.
In its simplest form, stay woke encourages us to take a moment to step outside of our day-to-day activities and responsibilities and make a choice to acknowledge and remain informed of the chaos spiraling around us. Staying woke admits that there is real turmoil, conflict, and lack in this world but that God's unending grace is present.
I encourage you today to be deliberate in your pursuit of your relationship with Christ (see: 1 Thessalonians 5:8). Commit to using the opportunities available to you to ensure that your sphere of influence (the people in your home, place of employment, neighbors in the community) stay woke.
Be alert. Keep informed. Remain ready.