I have to confess that I’ve found myself wasting way too much time scrolling through Facebook posts. I casually pick up my phone and look to see local news, friendly posts and then something catches my eye like “Weird Tales From the Woods” and I get sucked in. It’s like falling into a black hole and waking up to find I’ve been drifting for a half an hour or more. What happened and where did the time go? It definitely becomes more of a problem when I am bored or feeling lonely.
It’s a waste of time to engage in political or ethical discussions which then become debates that spiral into pointless arguments. Warning alarms go off in my head telling me to EXIT quickly. ) I had to unfriend one person because I thought I was having a discussion with him when two of his “Facebook friends” jumped in and started to verbally attack me when they realized I was a person of faith.
“… guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge… ” 1 Tim 6:20 (NLT)
I was not raised in an era of instant technology and information. I have learned the hard way to be very careful when commenting on a friends’ post or re-post. The definition for discernment is: 1. the ability to judge well. 2. (in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.
Social Media can be such a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of friends and their children, grandchildren, celebrations and travels. I appreciate the encouragement of a shared scripture verse or sermon link. It is exciting to read updates from missionaries and ministries we prayerfully and financially support. Multimedia is such an important part of our everyday it would be hard to live without it. Slowly I have become more aware of the dangers of time thieves, half-truths, one-sided news and opinions. I have also blocked acquaintances that share photos or memes that I don’t care to see!
Did you know that the Bible gives guidelines for what we view in any kind of media even though It was written thousands of years ago?!
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. Prov 4:23-27 (NLT)
We need to guard our hearts, minds and time. An old computer expression was “garbage in – garbage out” – you need to have clean programming for the system to work properly. Sometimes its a matter of training and discipline. God has given us passages like this one to use as a guideline.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phil 4:8-9 (NLT)
As for me, I am going to limit my time on Facebook. I need to avoid the click-bait sites . I will try to stay away from the political blah blah blah and discern what is true from other sources. I really do want to use my time wisely and protect my heart. I encourage you to use the verses above to help you gain a new perspective on the use of social media and Christian living today.