...Have I really come to this place where I'm more concerned about what's taking place on Facebook than what's going on in this church service? More concerned about a self-serving social networking site than this Bible on my lap?
I don't text, and I don't worry about my phone at church, but i have pulled it out after services to add things to the calendar, take notes for items we need to purchase for church, etc.
I cannot even imagine what the big attraction would be to be sitting in church and being more concerned with my email, my buddy list or my blog! I can guarantee tonight, though, that I will see this same thing happen in my Youth class. We have in our itty bitty tiny class a couple of youth who spend their class time texting. If not in the class, they make excuses to need to leave and go outside to do it.
Sad part is, there are just as many adults more concerned with what's available on their phones than what God might have to say to them through the sermon.
...I struggled with this very battle just yesterday. I woke up early to prepare for an 8:30 a.m. class. The two weeks prior I had spent each morning reading and studying my Bible. But on this day, the first places I went were my blog, Facebook and my e-mail. As the day progressed, I found myself talking to people more through technology than face-to-face. After a few weeks I was losing focus on my goals in life, and focusing on things like my status updates and friends online.
...Essentially Facebook is just one more thing that has shown me how easily I can lose interest in God's Word, the Bible. The words of J.I Packer come to mind:
How long is it since you read right through the Bible? Do you spend as much time with the Bible each day as you do even with the newspaper? What fools some of us are! — and we remain fools all our lives, simply because we will not take the trouble to do what has to be done to receive the wisdom which is God's free gift. (Knowing God, pp. 101-102)
If I take the newspaper out and insert Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, e-mail and IM ... I likewise "remain a fool." Perhaps even a bigger fool who wastes not just 30 minutes, but hours upon hours a day pouring himself into an often self-serving and ultimately temporary tool.
...I check things like Facebook every day. But do I read my Bible every day? I have to respond with embarrassment and a sinking heart that too often I do not.
Do you realize that tape-recorded readings of the Bible have proven that you can read through the entire Book in seventy-one hours? The average person in the United States watches that much television in less than two weeks. In no more than fifteen minutes a day you can read through the Bible in less than a year's time. (Knowing God, p. 33)
I love my Bible app here on my Blackberry. It is available at the touch of my finger, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. I have instant access to verses, my memory list, devotions, even commentaries for insight and study. It's wonderful to have.
But it's not my Bible. It's not the same as having a hard print copy of God's sitting in my hands, pages to turn, my many notes tucked away here and there. It's a useful app, but it's just that...an app. It isn't the same as putting forth my own effort to keep in touch with God every day.
Honestly, I don't think I understand the gravity of my distain of daily time with God. It's not an issue of salvation, of course, but I do think that it's essential to my spiritual health and growth. The thing is, I can spend hours upon hours on the internet browsing Facebook or messing with my electronic devices; I find it absolutely disgusting when this takes the place of God.
What is my true priority in life? I need a serious wake-up call.
...Many times I'll fall into a rut of not taking the Word of God seriously. What does it take to pound it into my thick skull that, if I want to get to know God better (which I claim), I need to head straight to the words He's given me (which I often don't do).
Paul instructs Timothy:Scripture is not only profitable for me, but it's absolutely essential in order to be competent and to live my life well.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)
...I struggle with what to write for my status update; how often do I struggle with the great depths of God?
And I'm reminded of my friend checking up on Facebook during the sermon. I don't want to just single him out. I know I've been in the place where I've allowed the things of this world — and online community is too often a mere "thing of this world" — to form habits in my life that push all other things aside, including the attention that should be focused on God and His Word.
I'm not casting any stones, mind you. I'm just as guilty as the next person. And I've made the same excuses everyone has. Technology is a great thing.
As a homeschooler, I use my technology in several ways that benefit our schooling endeavors. I have unit studies from all over the world, I have ebooks and references we use all the time, I have the ability to instantly order or download volumes of needed materials.
As a homesteader, I have countless tomes of information at my fingertips, far more than I have in my library here at home. I have complete medical journals for our livestock available. It's my source of Vet knowledge day and night. It offers me contact with others living as we are, skills to be shared, and information to be passed along.
As a mother, I have medical research and resources available day and night. I can search out what herbs are best for various illnesses, devotionals just for mothers, friends with multiple children, sounding boards for issues that arise in a large family setting, etc.
But, I can also find much of that if I simply listen to what God has to say. I can find clear guidance and direction in my hands-on Bible and quiet time. I can get mislead and my thinking muddled with too many useless thoughts when relying on technology.
This article...you have to go read it, it's just wonderful and thoughtful...needs to be printed off and taped to our computer screens, sent to our buddy lists and email friends, sent to our Yahoo groups, Twitter tweets, Facebook and MySpace pages, blogs and forums. It's just a worthy keeper for sure.