Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Facing Off With Facebook

With a specific purpose in mind, I reactivated my FB account this evening. It was for the sole purpose of getting some information off of it and it quickly deactivating it again.  Something on the wall feed caught my eye, which led me to a friend's page, which led me to another...and here I sit an hour and a half later, disheartened and poignantly reminded of why I had to leave in the first place. So, if for no other reason than that I need to re-read this entry, I'm bumping it to the top.  7/4/11

---originally posted 2/23/11---


I have been saved nearly twelve years now and yet it still baffles me how some things are harder than others, spiritually speaking.  At times, the Lord will ask me to do something for Him and it will seem easy, and then other things ~seemingly easy things~ are harder than anticipated.  I think in part it may be due to my heart strings. The Bible says that "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:21  So, if you "treasure" something of this world too much, it will have your heart.  Don't believe it?  Try giving up your favorite food, activity, television or what have you for a month :)   If you feel that "I don't need to give it up to prove that it doesn't have my heart" attitude welling up, you can be absolutely certain that that thing does indeed have a piece of your heart!  Probably a little more than it should.

Such was the case with me and Facebook.  I recently deleted my FB account but it wasn't without an internal struggle.  The sensible part of my brain realized the foolishness of my struggle.  After all, it's just a dumb social network! It shouldn't have any type of hold on me....yet it did. The more I felt like the Lord was leading to give it up, the more a part of me made excuses for not doing so!  Crazy, isn't it?

So, I thought I'd share with you what was behind the deletion in the hopes that it may help someone else. Maybe you too are struggling with letting go of something that you feel the Lord wants you to. It doesn't have to be internet related; it could be anything!  Maybe you are reasoning within yourself, trying to convince yourself that God doesn't really care about that.  I promise you, if you are God's child, He cares about every aspect of your life!  Every.single.one.

I'll preface this with the statement that these are the things that the Lord showed me, for me.  It is not a judgment of anyone else.

I have been reading the book Teaching the Trivium and read this quote within its pages:

Any territory which Christians acknowledge as neutral is territory which has been inattentively conceded to the devil as a playground for him to practice his hidden mischief.

There truly is no neutral ground.  Everything will either be pleasing to the Lord or displeasing to the Lord.  I'm sure that there are those who would pull out examples of things they think are neutral but in fact, if we dug deeper, I believe we would always find an answer to what the Lord thinks about it and whether it pleases Him.

Such is the case with FB.  I was speaking to a missionary a couple of weeks ago, who told me that he felt the Lord leading him to use FB as another tool to witness.  Certainly, it can be used that way....and effectively too!  The Lord is allowing him to use that outlet for God's glory!  On the other hand, that is not at all what the Lord has been showing me....for me:
  • FB can give place to the devil:  This is probably first and foremost for me. There are many ways in which we can give place to the Devil, but for me it is very personal.  I have a relative who has 'blocked' me on FB for years, in spite of my repeated attempts to make things right.  So, I will try to have 'conversations' with other relatives and there will be pieces missing.  You guessed it...that bitter party.  How does that give place to the devil? The 'ol devil LOVES strife!  And boy! does he know how to use it!   Every time this scenario happens, he sits on my shoulder and brings up the past.  Since there is little more I can do to remedy the situation, the only way NOT to give place to the devil is to not give him a place!  That may sound like circular reasoning, but if you or I continue to put ourselves in situations that the devil can use against us, then we are giving him a place in our lives....we are inviting him in. And it will hinder us spiritually, as it was at times with me.
We each have weaknesses - areas of our lives that we may not be so strong.  Think of a recovering alcoholic as a worldly example.  If he wants to stay off of alcohol, he'd do best to avoid situations where he has to make a decision whether or not to drink.  I would assume that those reading probably will not fit that example, but what if you are prone to giving in to hurt.  What if you're like me and the devil uses a person or a past to wreak havoc in your mind?  Simply don't give him the opportunity!   Suppose there is someone at church who (God forbid) is a gossip.  And suppose you are prone to be pulled into gossip if you're around it. It would be wise for you to avoid the gossiper  for your own spiritual well-being! Protecting our individual relationship with the Lord aught to take utmost priority in our lives!
Neither give place to the devil.
(Eph 4:27)
  • FB is a colossal time waster!  Oh, this one is a biggie.  The Lord began to show me that there are so many things of far greater importance than who is cooking what for dinner tonight :-)  While I was meditating on Matthew 12:36 ...But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment....I decided to look up the word idle in the 1828. One of the definitions stunned me because it so aptly fits most of what goes on within "social" networks.  Idle: Trifling; vain; of no importance; as an idle story; an idle reason; idle arguments.  
I know that my sinful nature is to make the excuse that since I'm not saying anything wrong, I don't mind giving an account for it.  However the Bible has so much more to say about idleness!   The idle soul will suffer hunger (Pr. 19:15); and idleness leads to gossip: And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. (1Ti 5:13)  I don't know about you, but I just do not believe that idleness pleases the Lord and above all, I want to please Him. 
  • FB often reduces relationships to nothing more than "drive-by" acquaintances:  I believe it takes the place of real and genuine relationships.  No longer do I have to pick up the phone, write a letter or even send an email.  Now I can simply browse by a wall, check a status and if I have time (ha!) leave a comment.  It seems the easier it is to 'stay connected' the less connected we truly are with each other.  

  • FB is not a good place for children:  I do not want my children on FB.  As much as I try to control what was coming in on my own wall, there would still be vulgar ads, people who would post things contrary to what is useful to edifying and I believe it to be a dangerous place overall for children.  Now, how can I tell my children that it isn't a good place for them to be and be there myself?  We aren't talking about going into the highways and hedges for the purpose of soul winning, we are talking about a purely optional, entertainment activity!  It's really no different than saying "no honey, you can't watch this movie because it's for adults."  In our household, if it isn't fit for children, it isn't fit for anyone.  Mom and Dad do not have their movies and the kids have theirs.  It's either fit for all or it's not fit at all!
  •  Truly though, my "ah-huh!" moment came with this realization....Do you have someone in your life that you truly want to be like because they model Christ?  I have several such people in my life.  Their walk with God is so close that it makes me long to get closer to the Lord myself.  They seem to be drenched in the Holy Spirit and the joy of the Lord just bubbles up and out from the overflow that is in their hearts.  Not ONE of these people (in my life) have a FB account....not one.  I am not saying that you can't be spiritual and have a FB account :)  Do not go putting words in my  mouth.  I have several good,godly friends on FB, whom I admire greatly.  I believe they love the Lord.  However, there is something beyond that, that I long for.  It's this "it" that some of the godly women (and men) I know have.  "It" cannot be described in words.....If you know someone that has "it", you know what I'm talking about.  In the moment I realized that not a single one of them were entangled with such trivial things as FB, I knew I had my answer.  If there is any chance that FB could be keeping me from getting as close to the Lord as I could be, I do not want any part of it. 
Anyhow, those are some things the Lord has been showing me and how He has been leading me.  It will not apply to everybody; it may not apply to anybody!  I would challenge you to look at all of your entertainment in light of Scripture.  Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Is this activity helping me spiritually?
  2. Is it drawing me closer to God?  ANYTHING that cools my heart's desire for God is not good for me!
  3. Is it benefiting my family?
  4. Is there something of greater value that I could be doing?
  5. Is it in any way giving place to the devil?
If you find that something in your life really does need to be removed, remember to attack  Satan's excuses with reality. For example, the Devil tried to convince me that I'd lose touch with people if I left FB.  In reality, anyone that really cares can email, call or write.   The Devil has a million excuses for not following God.

If you're unsure whether something really has your heart, make a commitment to abstain from it for a month. Feeling panicky? How about a week?  C'mon, you can do it! It will be there when you get back.  If you can't take time off, you really do need to get rid of it!  It has ahold of you.  If you feel like, yes, you really could take a step back and be ok, do it anyway! You may find that at the end of that week or month period, that you have found better things to occupy your time.

And remember, just because something isn't wrong doesn't mean it's right for you!  If you feel the Lord leading you in a certain direction, do not worry about what other people might think. The Lord obviously has a purpose in it and He is waiting to bless your obedience to Him!
© Adorning Grace 2010

4 comments:

  1. Much to ponder.........thank you.

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  2. I know you have struggled with coming and going on FB and I am thankful that you share your struggle so that others may think before they network socially. I definitely think it is a place to be careful and to be guarded.

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  3. I found your blog through a link on IFBKJV.com. I have always been quite suspicious of Facebook, but since I don't know anyone who has a Facebook account I've never really looked into it. I've always been rather suspicious about the lack of privacy and the danger of wasting time. I have a big enough problem being moderate with my time on the Internet, and adding one more element would not help with that situation! I really enjoyed your insightful post, and have been blessed by your lovely blog! I look forward to visiting again! :)

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  4. I just found your blog through a IFBKJV. I appreciated reading this post; very thought provoking! We do need to be so careful about letting anything in our lives draw us away from a close walk with the Lord. Thank you for sharing this.

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