|Back In The Day
1 John 5:21″ Dear children keep yourselves from idols.”
What images are comjured up in your mind when you think of idols? Is it the golden calf in the Old Testament? Or is it statues of Gods? I’m sure each one of us has a different idea of what an idol looks like. The bible defines an idol as,”A statue made by people and worshipped as if it had the power of a God;anything that takes the place of God in a person’s life.” The second part of that definition really hits home with me. In our modern day world we have at our fingertips a number of idols to distract us. When our attention is taken away from God we are replaicing God with whatever it is we are distracted with and has disastrous effects on our spiritual life.
I immediately think about how much time our society spends on social media. I ride the subway to work and when I look around everyone is either typing away furiously on their phone, probably tweeting, checking email, or squeezing in Facebook time. Rarely do I ever see anyone with an open bible in their lap. I think about how much time I spend on the computer and it really is unnerving. I’m not really tweeting unless I’m sending out a blog post, but I do surf the web and can get wrapped up into spending hours looking a miscellaneous sites that happen to strike my fancy. I do make it a priority to read my bible every day, however I can defintley cut down on the time I spend on the web.
In a sense it is disturbing that people tweet what they’re doing every five minutes, or how it is common to spend hours on the computer posting on Facebook and reading statuses. It begs me to ask the question, “Has social media become our modern day idol?” Have we replaced the golden calf with Facebook and Twitter? unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for mom and dad to check their phones and text at the dinner table. Or for kids to be ushered off to the side while mom is chatting on Facebook. I can’t imagine how often God is put aside to surf the web or to tweet a friend. Sure, technology is a gift. How else would we be able to skype with a friend a continent away? How great is it that you can update the grandparents with minute by minute updates on their grandchildren or send them family video in mere seconds? But, are we becoming so obsessed with this new modern day idol that we neglecting spending time with God? Our number one relationship shouldn’t be with a computer it should be with the Lord.
I know gadgets and technology makes our life run smoother, connects us, and of course it is fun! I love blogging and reaching out to women I would’ve otherwise never known exisisted. I think we were given technology to connect with one another and even spread the word of God. But, if it is taking our focus away from God this is a problem. We have a purpose that is why we’re here! Our purpose requires us to be listening to God, spending time with him in prayer, and reading the scriptures while manifesting these biblical values in our life and in our family’s life.
In no way am I trying to criticize anyone here. Actually I am personally examining how I’m spending my own time. I’ve come to realize there are a few things I need to do to redirect my attention on God.
1. Prayerfully ask God to help you eliminate any idols in your life and listen to him!
2. Limit your time on the computer. Take a week and document how long you are on Facebook, Twitter, etc. If it is too much time start making changes.
3. Don’t allow social media to interfere in your bible study or prayer life.
4. At least once or twice a week when you find your fingers getting ready to tweet or spend hours on Facebook, STOP! Open your bible, say a prayer, do something that turns your attention to God.
5.Take a 7 day cleanse from social media. For one week stop cold turkey from tweeting, posting statuses, or anything else that deals with social media (excluding your job).
6. Make it a point to shut down and refocus your energy and time on God.
You may be thinking I need to get with the twenty-first century already, but I beg to differ. God doesn’t want us removing our attention from him. When spend an absorbent amount of time engrossed in social media or anything else for that matter that replaces our time spent with God, we are misusing our time and spiritual gifts. When I see people in the pews during a sermon checking statuses on Facebook, I’m stunned at how prevelant and consuming social media has become. It is pretty bad when you can’t get through a sermon without checking your phone! Maybe you use social media to help spread the word about God and that’s great! But closely examine it’s role in your life. Just because we aren’t dancing around a bronze calf or on bended knees praying to a statue doesn’t mean we don’t idolize just as those Israelites in Mose’s time did. We are just as human as those folks in the old and new testament, we just have better technology and toys to be preoccupied with instead of carved statues.
We also want to be careful on what we are modeling to our kids. They are so impressionable and if they see you doing it they want to do it too! Some bad habits begin with mom and dad. Remember the hours in your day are a precious gift, use them wisely to grow in your walk with God and to fulfill your purpose.