This seems like such a simple concept, but it makes and breaks people everyday. The difference between success and failure, joy and shame, wealth and poverty and so many other things lies in the difference between what you want to do now and what you’ll wish you did tomorrow.
Seeking God, praying, and reading scripture are some of the ways we can reconcile tomorrow with today. That process adjusts our priorities and motivates our desires in incredible ways. So long as we’re seeing clearly and are not deceived we can expect God’s word to protect us.
The challenge comes in the depth of those words. How specific they are and how stubborn we are. Jesus doesn’t specifically mention whether or not to watch television. The Bible doesn’t say whether Democrats are better than Republicans. These days there are a lot of ways that we can convince ourselves that we can do whatever we want to do now because so much these days is unprecedented in history.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9
Oops, I guess Solomon must not have known about iPhones and Snap-chat? Well, maybe not, but let’s ponder this carefully. The verse before that says: “The eye never has enough of seeing,nor the ear its fill of hearing.” Well that sure seems familiar. Flesh is not exactly wired to be content is it? “Eye-candy” is a term used to describe fancy, shiny, attractive, interesting things that grab our attention. Yet with every case of eye-candy induced whiplash we’re left unsatisfied and wanting more. Well, maybe he does get something, but he still hasn’t mentioned Facebook!
Don’t be so sure! What do you think Social media caters to if not “eyes seing” or “ears hearing“? It’s genius, take a human vice, a known insatiable appetite, and exploit it as a platform to spoon-feed advertisements, propaganda, and temptation 24x7x365. It’s so ingenious that people have been doing it FOR MILLENNIA!
Uh oh, Ecclesiastes is really on to something here. So behind the html and scrollbars what we really have with Twitter, and Android are more tabloids, snake-oil salesmen, town-criers, coliseums full of gladiators, brothels full of prostitutes, and drug dealers trying to get you hooked on their “stuff”. It’s really not new. It’s not even really very different.
So here’s where what we do today is tough to determine. Unlike brothels and bootleggers there’s nothing obviously detrimental about social media. Isn’t that what they said about tobacco 100 years ago? Isn’t that what they claim about vapes now? Nothing is new under the sun!
If this stuff isn’t new, but just the same old things in different packages, how can we get ahead of the deception curve? How can we avoid being a 1920’s chain smoker who will be dying of lung cancer in our 50s? Maybe not so surprisingly the Bible already has something to say about that:
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge…” – 1 Timothy 6:20
It’s hard to pick. Proverbs is full of warnings about the dangers of talk. Even our old children’s songs say things like: “be careful little eyes what you see…” So giving the likes of YouTube, CNN, Fox News or Instagram direct access to your “little eyes” is somewhat like giving a drug dealer direct access to your blood stream. There’s really no telling what he’s going to put in there, and once it’s in there there’s no way to get it back out again.
It seems to me that the so-called value of social media is itself a deception on par with blood-letting & leeches being a cure for whatever ails you. We think it’s “good” to look at millions of pictures of different people. We think we’re “staying in touch.” When in reality all that’s really happening is that those IRL (in-real-life) are getting less of us in exchange for a glowing electron filled inanimate golden calf. One might think that moderation is the answer to this, and just like with cigarettes and crack cocaine they may be a bit correct, but like any good deception or any good virus, it can’t be very successful if it kills off its host before its host propagates it further along.
It seems almost certain that if someone were to ask Jesus: “Rabbi, my parents live far away and have this new Pinterest thingy they want me to send witty memes on, so first let me send them witty memes because it seems worthwhile and entertaining.” It seems, almost certainly that His answer would be: “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Or maybe: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
If history is any indicator, the “bad things” only get worse. These electronics may do far worse than cause brain tumors. They could cost people their souls! We may be getting hooked on the image of the beast itself and heading full speed into accepting its mark. Don’t be deceived, nothing will ever really be new, but it may be bigger, badder, and more lethal than the versions that came before it. Even Revelation warns that “the beast” will come and come again. Each iteration worse than the last and each tools of satan himself.
So if you’re reading this on your phone or computer I ask you please. Turn it off right now. Don’t read another word of this article. Just say a prayer instead and ask our Father how beneficial this stuff really is.
Stop reading right now. Don’t read any further. I’m telling you something that an “ad-monetized” site would never tell you. Stop reading, turn off this phone. If you don’t I’m going to stop typing. I’m serious… 3, 2, 1.