Facebook Meets Wisdom

I’m on Facebook. You’re on Facebook. Your kids, mom, youth group, and dog hang out in Facebook world. The site can be a useful tool, allowing you to chat with friends, post pictures of your “Anakin Skywalker” themed birthday party, and send little notes to your pals like, “Haha, LOL, C U L8TR” (I’m being a bit sarcastic – I do like the site).

But Facebook (or Myspace, Twitter, etc.) also poses unique temptations, and we must think biblically about how we and our children use the site. Each of us needs to answer the question: How do I use Facebook for the glory of God?

Here are three major categories to think through in evaluating your use of Facebook:

Relationship with God

Facebook is a source of everlasting entertainment. It’s so easy to bounce from page to page, game to game, photo to photo. It’s mindless, distracting, and somewhat fun. Without self-control, a quick dip into Facebook can turn into a two-hour Internet safari.

Is it wrong to spend two hours on Facebook? Not necessarily. But it has the potential to drain the vitality out of our relationship with the Lord. Can you relate?

Try these questions on for size:

–    Does using Facebook result in me spending less time with the Lord?

–    Does it result in me being more distracted in my devotional times?

Relationships with Others

We were made for real, person-to-person relationships. Superpoking, chatting, and throwing snowballs at each other doesn’t constitute biblical fellowship. God created us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2), “meet together” (Heb. 10:25), “rejoice with those who rejoice”, and “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15) This doesn’t usually happen in a meaningful way on Facebook.

So…

–    Do I invest more time in Facebook relationships than face-to-face relationships?

–    Does using Facebook take me away from my family, friends, church, etc.?

Temptation

Just like television, music, and movies, Facebook is a loaded gun when it comes to temptation. Flirting, sexually immoral applications, sensual sidebar ads, inappropriate pics uploaded by friends – it’s all possible. Can it be avoided? Sure. But the fact that it exists should put us on guard every time we log in.

And so we ask…

–    Is using Facebook causing me to be sexually tempted?

–    Am I taking the appropriate, biblical measures to fight against these temptations?

I don’t have this all figured out. I wrestle through these issues on a regular basis, and I would encourage you to wrestle through them as well. Parents, talk to your kids about these things. As you learn to use Facebook for the glory of God, teach your children to do the same.

Should we abandon Facebook because of these temptations? I don’t think so. But we need to think carefully and biblically every time we logon.

Here are a few articles that I found to be particularly helpful:

Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter

What The “F” Chord Taught Me

In February of ’64, watching the Beatles’ American debut on the Ed Sullivan show, I sat transfixed, as if I were seeing live footage of a newly-discovered mastodon.  I decided to learn guitar, perform to screaming throngs of teenage girls, and run through the streets of Liverpool trying to escape said girls.

With great excitement I began my lessons on a shiny new rented guitar.  The velvet lining inside the case smelled better than a new car. I was on my way to stardom.

But, surprise – learning guitar takes work!  Hours  practicing hand-contorting finger positions, learning scales and rhythms.  And the “F” chord – even when my spasmodic fingers reluctantly agreed to go where I wanted, I could only produce from the strings a dull plunk.

But slowly, tediously, discipline became delight. I eventually learned to play, formed a band, made lots of music in high school and college and to this day still enjoy playing. Never did run through the streets of Liverpool…

The principle applies to the Bible as well as guitar.

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart… JE 15.16

First, discipline: We must “eat” God’s word – take it in, chew on it, seek to apply it to our lives.  Delight will eventually follow as we know God and experiencing his blessing.

“I believe that the one chief reason that I have been kept in happy useful service is that I have been a lover of Holy Scripture.  It has been my habit to read the Bible through four times a year; in a prayerful spirit, to apply it to my heart, and practice what I find there.  I have been for sixty-nine years a happy man; happy, happy, happy.” – George Mueller

We must seek God’s grace for discipline.  Delight will surely come.

photo by nemusns