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Friday, September 12, 2014

What Good Is The Internet?



Some days I really struggle with the internet. I struggle with the good and bad of it.
Let's face it. There is a lot of bad. There is greasy, dirty, whiny, angry, gossipy & downright sleazy all over the place.  It's gross. It's meant to suck people in.  And it accomplishes what it sets out to do. All we have to do is see a pretty picture or a catchy title and suddenly with the click of a mouse or tap of our phone we are engaged in what so and so thinks about so and so and the 7 reasons why.

And if we are not careful, we begin to feed our hearts with trash. It may not look dirty, but it makes our hearts dirty. We read it. We involve ourselves in argument and debate over it. We dwell on it. We infuriate over it.  And suddenly, Jesus is not first and foremost. This thing is. This issue. This debate. This gossip.

So why do we fall for it?
Why do we spend our time accommodating the patterns of the world? That's not who we are.
Romans 12:2 says Be not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing & perfect will.
We are called to be more. We are called to protect our hearts. Do you want to know why?
Because everything we do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23) 
Are we protecting our heart with every click of our mouse?  Are we allowing the life of God to flow out of us?  Or is what flows from our mouths and fingertips something else? 
It's something to think about.

1 Peter 2:9 -"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
What I see here is that God has chosen you. You are prized. You are precious. You are holy and royalty. And you are different. And because of that, you are called to show the goodness of God. That is your purpose here on this earth- to show others his goodness. Whatever you do, whatever you speak, whatever you share, let it bring glory to God alone.

The thing about the internet it has given anyone and everyone a public voice. This can be a good thing if the right people are using it, but more often than not it's doing the opposite. Some people don't know when to keep their mouths closed. Some people entertain idol argument too quickly. And some people just just want to tell the world what they think.
But as a man or woman of God, that is not what we are called to do.
That's not who we are supposed to be.

Yes, we are to defend the gospel, but we should allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into doing so with the right words.



The internet can be an excellent tool if you use it correctly~If your intent is to honor God with your words and not yourself, if your intent is to honor God and not dishonor others. There are certainly very talented speakers and writers and debaters and actors and politicians that have the ability to captivate us and persuade us and entertain us. But talent & persuasion don't equal truth.
Let's not take every word out of every great writer or speaker and cut it up and swallow and digest it as truth just because it's said with eloquence. On that same not, let's not take every word and throw it out just because someone is imperfect. 
If we renew our minds daily with God's word, and ask him to open our eyes, we will know the truth inside of us.  We just will.   And that is what we should be sharing. That truth that brings glory to God. We shouldn't let ourselves to conform to the thoughts and patterns of the world we live in.

Our voice, if we should decide to use it publicly (which most of us do to some degree nowadays if we own any sort of social media account) is to be used to breathe the life of God into any given situation. If we are not using the online voice we have, (however little or big it may be), to bring God glory, what are we using it for? If we are speaking up on this or that, we need to be sure our heart is close to God's heart and our voice is guided by Him. Because when it comes down to it, our opinions are not what matter. We can certainly have them, but they aren't what matter. What matters is bringing God glory. And bringing people to see Jesus.

And likewise, let those who do wish to glorify God, be brave enough to do it publicly. We need more brave people online pointing people to Jesus, not just away from things or people. Give people somewhere to look, not only something to look away from.

Let's ask ourselves this question before we speak, 
"Will they see Jesus in what I am about to say?"
And if the answer is no, maybe we should lay that thought quietly down for awhile and let God work in us what HE wants us to say. Or we can say nothing at all. Sometimes that is better, ya know? It just is. I hold back a lot of my initial thoughts. Because it's just that, it's my thoughts and my reaction to other peoples thoughts. That's all.  And I want to be sure that when I speak it's not hasty and when I speak, it's really very simple, I want people to see Jesus.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you  have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you  have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 4:11

The internet isn't going away anytime soon. But as we engage ourselves in it's use, let's not get tangled up in the grossness of it. We need to learn to recognize when what we read or what we say is a ploy meant to shift our focus onto people or ideas rather than the Lord.  Instead, let's use our voice on the internet to boast about the NAME that is far above every other name that calls out to us.
The name of Jesus.


2 comments:

Lucy McCracken said...

I meant to post to this post yesterday because you are absolutely right. It encouraged me to make sure whatever I'm posting either on my blog or FB page is honoring God. Great post!

Dina said...

Great post, Julie. It was very thought provoking and made me think about the things I post online, whether they be on Facebook, my blog, Twitter, or email. It needs to be in the name of God, honoring Him always. Thank you for inspiring me, always.
Hugs,
Dina

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