Brain Slave Facebook Sins“I have to fix the internet!”  This is a slapstick phrase I have heard many times in my own home and abroad when dealing with the idea that someone is wrong online and “I” or someone else, must make sure they know it and make it right.  While there is something innately heroic about such things, it really comes down to being an opinion police or worse, trying to be the God of the world.  Before I move on let me say that I use social media, I blog at times and I enjoy the occasional debate within my social sphere.  Through it all, we believers are bound by power to do all things for the glory of Christ and to be humble, concerned and affectionate toward all people, even those who disagree.

While I desire to make everything right (in contradiction to this very article) in many areas, I understand that I have to just place what is on my heart in simple and succinct ways and that if I ever desire to do a Ph.D. in “Corrective Rightness” then I may need to fully disclose every angle of possible issues, outcomes and arguments from these points, but today, let’s just think about a few things.

ADDICTION

For the most part, I think that at times we fail to see that we have an addiction to social things.  We love to “check” our email, get a text, see our Facebook posts, count the likes, the shares, the comments and the number of “friends” we have.  We enjoy seeing who cares, who sneers and who jeers at us along with the overwhelming desire to have our cronies back us up and begin to fight for us.  In the end, we need to realize just what kind of evil idolatry rests at the root of such desires.  We are selfish and want to be the center of things.  Even when we are in good intentions, sometimes we are elated when something “blows up” online.  We love it, we get up and go to bed with it on our minds and when this is true for us, we need to realize we have a true  addiction .

EGO

This one is easy to see.  We really think we have the answer and we really think that our thoughts and comments are what is going to set the record straight.  Well, remember “pride comes before the fall.”  So, before we jump into something that wasn’t even said to us or for us, let’s consider if we think more highly of ourselves than we should.

STEWARDSHIP

Money or course would come to mind with this word, but in this issue, I think it’s more of a time management issue.  Everyone I know is busy.  They don’t have time to meet, talk, pray, study, serve, share their faith, spend time with their kids, work on their marriage, get in shape, learn a new trade, help their neighbor or just get the right amount of sleep; but they ALL have ample HOURS to update, comment, post, ping, tweet, insta”slam” and everything else.  Who are we kidding?  We have plenty of time, we just love wasting it on so-called “important” issues.  Get real.  Nuff said.

GLORY

This is redundant from the “ego” area, but it has a more theological and spiritual implication.  We must guard ourselves against seeking glory as the “winner” or the “warrior” and realize that what Christ has given through the Spirit is a humble and quiet resolve.  A spirit of desiring truth without causing more problems.  This is seen mainly in the “multi-faceted” areas of expertise that everyone seems to hold online and in truth, none of us are actually thinking right when we seek glory.

OUTCOME

When it’s all said and done let’s ask ourselves, “What am I leaving behind?”  Will it be honoring to me, my family, my community, and my Lord?  Will the battle reveal the power of God or something else?  Am I spending my attention on things that are godless and counterproductive to my calling and my adoption as a child of God?  If things like this don’t stop, there could be catastrophic outcomes:

  1. Depression.  Yes, a continued desire to be the light of the internet world and shine on every problem from here to Helena will cause a deep emotional dissatisfaction that concludes in a depressed and broken mind and heart.  But that’s what happens when we put our lives away for the sake of darkness instead of light.
  2. Division.  How many “friends” are lost through silly and non-vital foolishness?  Taking things wrongly and assuming the worst is not the fruit of God, but the fruitless work of darkness.
  3. Darkness.  People will type things they would never say in public.  There is something really wicked about this and for many, it changes their temperament and in some cases, proves them to be unbelievers.
  4. Delusion.  Seeing what is not there to be seen and making one’s own mind dull because the gospel is not central and without glorious food, we all die.
  5. Death.  The wages of sin is death.  Sin and temptation is not just the sinful actions of debauchery, but the subtle attitudes of delight that we get when we engage to “correct” everything.

CAVEAT

OK, please do not hear what I am not saying.  There are times to correct, point out and make known darkness.  Paul teaches us this in several places (Eph 5, Titus etc.) but he also teaches that it is the work and guiding of those who are spiritual for the sake of the safety and sanctity of the body of Christ.  God is not in need of a defender and the purpose of these thoughts are for reflection, not aggravation.

NOW WHAT?

Now let’s settle our hearts and minds and follow some clear and practical things that will help us in our never-ending battle against the never-ending battle against the never-ending battle against …. you get the point.

  1. Pray that God will show us the way that is light and true and honorable.
  2. Be settled when something disagrees with us online and let it go.
  3. When we have to engage, be sure it is only because we know and love the person involved and we do it PRIVATELY.
  4. Block things and people who continue to cause division or derail our joy.
  5. Delete the medium that causes us sin; such as Facebook or Twitter.  We don’t need them anyway.

This scripture preaches itself, so I have no need to explain it.  Print it out, put it on your desk, make it your header, tattoo it on your hands and most surely your heart and you will have peace.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9 ESV)

For His Glory by His Grace,

Pastor James H. Tippins

Writing for God's GloryWell, if one had to know, I really have never written, just played around with some semi-quasi-halfway syntax and called it writing.  The breath of my pen has exhaled with not even a vapor of expression remaining and at the end of this sentence I could stop and hit delete.  Seriously, well… more like honestly, I don’t write much anymore because I have more drafts in books, files and on my blog than I actually have published.  I look at everything I want to say and think, “I don’t really want to say it and if I did, I want it to be perfect.”  To this I confess that I have a pride issue when it comes to writing.

Yes, pride.  Not the, “look at my great prose and covet” but more like, “if I don’t get this perfect then I am a loser” pride.  Yes, pride is the core reason I have not completed much of the writing that I really would like to publish.  Two finished manuscripts, many pamphlets, articles galore and yet I sit here writing about how I don’t want to write.  Now as I talk to myself about this issue I have several thoughts that are ringing in my ears that need to be pressed into the pad of this article.  Why do I feel this way?

SOCIAL MEDIA

I believe the draw of “interaction” has overtaken the allure of intimacy in writing.  Thorough and insightful script seems fruitless in today’s social sphere and if it can’t be said in 140 characters, it probably isn’t worth saying.  No one is going to read it anyway.

BACKLASH AND NASTY PEOPLE

There is no more etiquette or politeness any longer among opinions and conversation has been devoured by the cookie monster of “hear me, hear me” to the point that most people with anything useful are fearful of having to deal with all the mess.  Even if the comments are off, it doesn’t take the heat away.  I especially enjoy the rebukes and wickedness poured over people’s heart-felt testimonies as if anyone ever asks for input in the first place.

YOU DIDN’T SAY THAT

In the end with everything being said, it’s hard to actually have an original thought.  In today’s googley  circles, nothing is precious and there are some out there that would rather steal words than anything else.  Who cares?  Well, let’s just say if someone who stands against everything you ever did stole your words then someone else found them in your mouth, you would be quoting them right?  Meh.

LEARNING VS LAUGHING VS LOOTING

Writing for the sake of teaching is mainly what I enjoy, but it seems that people would rather laugh or take advantage of a controversy and “loot” the wave to the center of “likes” and “&^%$@#&^!@” listed on their blogs and social pages.  Come on, who doesn’t enjoy having 4893 friends that they have never met comment and like what they didn’t even say to begin with but shared what someone else didn’t say about what someone else said about what their other friend who they never met said about what they didn’t hear anyone say.  You know?

SUBLIME GLORY

At the core of it all though is the fear that something is too precious and glorious to waste.  That the object at the tip of the pen is so concerning with divinity and the beauty of ineffable majesty that no amount of paper and ink could do it justice.  It seems that sometimes it just cannot be said rightly so is it better to not say it at all?  I think this is truly where I sit, worrying about whether or not my service to the glory of God and His word, doctrine, et al in my writing is even effectual to the praise of His glorious grace.  Is it even going to partner with His purpose to engage the mind of the saints to a greater seeing of His wonder?

You know what?  It doesn’t matter.  If nothing else, a partnering with God’s great work in small and piece-milled ways will outshine the grandest of debates on the most divisive issues of man.  The majesty of Grace will devastate the minds of Americans who work to the end of their fingers to produce yet another wasted effort against the grain of the cross of Jesus Christ.  The smallest drop of blood from the Savior is heavier and weightier than the chasm of the cosmos and the doxology of silence in the face of Holiness is louder than the highest gathering of the greatest people for the greatest cause.

So, I desire to write for the glory of God, for an audience beyond my knowledge and sight and to do what I can, if nothing else, to catalogue the Master’s fingerprint of my own heart as I encourage all the saints to do the same.  What would happen if the children of God for one season all praised Him in their words?  I cannot even imagine.

For His Glory by His Grace,

Pastor James