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.
- 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.?
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.
- Facebook Faceoff – Tim Sweetman