What the FaceApp Challenge teaches us about discipleship

By Kyle Bueermann

There is a phenomenon that has hit social media hard over the past couple of weeks: the “FaceApp Challenge.” In the event you’ve been under a rock recently, the FaceApp augments pictures to make you look younger or, as most people were using it, older. The results are pretty funny and — in some cases, downright scary.

But behind all the fun lies a profound truth in this new social media rave: We all will, eventually, age. It’s a lot of fun to look at what fellow pastors in their mid-30s will look like in 40 years. But even as I laughed at my own picture, I was reminded that none of us stays young forever. Until Christ comes, age only moves one direction.

And yet I think there are some key lessons we can learn from all of these friends posting these pictures of themselves 30 years older. Ecclesiastes 12 reminds us that, eventually, age catches up with us all. While the concept of youth may be somewhat subjective, the point remains that you are older today than you were yesterday.

So remember your Creator in the days of your youth:
Before the days of adversity come,
And the years approach when you will say,
“I have no delight in them.” (Eccl. 12:1, CSB)

While the concept of youth may be somewhat subjective, the point remains that you are older today than you were yesterday. But it also is true that you are younger today than you will be tomorrow! So, let us focus our attention on a couple of principles that aging teaches us about discipleship.

1. We have the opportunity to learn from past mistakes.

One of the glorious things about the gospel is that we do not have to be defined by who we once were (or what we once did). As believers, we are defined by who we are in Christ. As we are in community with one another, we have opportunities to learn from others’ mistakes —  and also to pass along the lessons we’ve learned to others.

2. Our future will be shaped by the decisions we make today.

While we aren’t defined by the mistakes we may have made, they no doubt have affected what our lives look like today. The same will be true of the next 40 or so years. The decisions you make now will impact your life. The teacher in Ecclesiastes understood this, so he admonished his learners to seek their Creator in the days of youth.

The fact is, we don’t have much control over the reality that we will age. We do,  however, have control over how we will age. Will we spend our days seeking the Lord, or our own ways?

While much will be written about the age of social median which we are currently living, the FaceApp phenomenon offers us a sobering look at the fact that we will age.

The question is, what will we do over the next 40 years to grow in our relationship with Christ and to help others follow Him as well?,

Published July 26, 2019

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Kyle Bueermann

Kyle Bueermann is a Rural Specialist for the Replant Team. He served as a youth and music minister and as a senior pastor for nine years in New Mexico. He’s married to Michelle and they have two kids: Noah and Hailey. He’s a fan of the Texas Rangers and loves black coffee. Kyle and his family live in Lubbock, TX.