Monday, March 1, 2010

Losing Your Faith?

Facebook has quickly become a social hub for all types of people, from all walks of life, from all countries of the world and for all age groups. What was once a hub for college students only has branched out and now allows anyone over the age of 13 to be a member. People can add friends, send messages, post pictures and play a multitude of games through this social outlet. Actually, if you’re not on facebook, you are probably not on the internet either, which would mean that you would not be reading this and ….. oh, never mind.

The most used feature of facebook allows users to post items to their “wall” which in turn allows their friends to see, comment and even add a “thumbs up” like to their post. Since I examine users profiles before adding them as friends I am not really sure as to the kinds of things that get posted on others walls. I can only speculate using a web sense of what normally goes on throughout the world wide web. I have gotten requests that I have turned down and have deleted a few “friends” after seeing some of their posts, but overall I have had a very pleasant experience on facebook. I normally post a scripture verse, quote from a notable Christian or something interesting I have came across. But also post a silly thing here and there too.

Pleasant experiences can really go south quickly though. I have had a few friends that stop posting for a while, seemingly because facebook has taken over a large chunk of their free time. That is an issue that is very real, but like any other activity that gets out of hand and consumes one it needs to be constantly examined as to not become an idol. If that starts to happen, then a sabbatical from the website could prove profitable.

Like any other activity one must always be on the lookout for the warning signs of idolatry. These include increased time doing that activity, overwhelming desires to be taking part in that activity, slacking off from needed activities to partake in something more often, neglecting household duties, neglecting your family and most importantly neglecting God’s Word and prayer time. These things aren’t just signs that you are spending too much time on facebook, there are countless other things that are just as dangerous and just as idolatrous (watching TV, playing video games, exercising, working, sleeping, etc.). Any time something takes precedence over godly things and then they are very dangerous. But the things mentioned can also be used in a godly fashion as well.

Each individual is different. While I do not lose my faith while using facebook, someone else might. My focus is on things that will glorify my Lord. While someone else may spend an equal amount of time doing other activities on facebook that have no spiritual implications whatsoever. But also my activities could also become an idol if I focus on the activity, posts and comments themselves rather on the One these posts and comments are about. The dangers are ever present and very real, so I caution everyone to always be aware of the time you spend on facebook and other networking sites. Like any other activity always ask yourself how it glorifies God to be doing that activity.

Be careful and everything will be okay. Don’t let it become an idol to you and you won’t lose your faith. Facebook can, be used for some very edifying things. I have new friends from all over the world that post things to their wall that have been real blessings. I am able to see how different cultures and different viewpoints see certain topics and issues. I have been given the great privilege to pray for brothers and sisters needs that otherwise I would not have been able to do. I have learned of ministries across the world that I am now able to pray for and interact with. I gain more knowledge that can then be used to further the kingdom of God. So many ways I have been blessed since using facebook. But I am just as susceptible as anyone and may one day have to limit, if not cut out totally, my facebook time. If my desire becomes anything but my Lord, then I am in need of the pruning shears.

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