Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
~1 Timothy 4:15 New King James Version (NKJV)~
I recently took a week off from Facebook in order to get my head together. It is very easy to fall into the habit of just scrolling aimlessly and taking in all of the misery there without ever getting around to the reason you logged in to begin with. While it is nice to scroll through and try to encourage people and offer compassion and well-wishes, it is a far cry from the proactive networking that I intended to do when I signed up. Originally, I joined Facebook in order to market my books and to meet other authors and publishers. Over the course of time, it became obvious that this was also going to be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family whom I don’t get to see often. Lately, however, I’ve done less keeping in touch and more being distracted by silly memes and ongoing political and social arguments that are designed to be divisive. And the distraction is exactly what the devil had in mind. When he saw how effective social networking could be to spread God’s word, he set his sights on finding ways to use it as a means of infecting God’s people with negativity on a whole new level.
And unfortunately, the entire thing has become much like a soap opera. I could take seven months off and still come back to a feed filled with the same general themes that I see there today. So, I have a decision to make. While I don’t want to completely remove myself from social networking, I no longer want to allow it to play such an active role in my life. While I still want to remain accessible for friends and family who choose to communicate with me through Facebook, I no longer want to sit around and think about who isn’t staying in touch (you know who you are). While I would love to continue engaging in debates with others about anything and everything under the sun, I believe my time will be better spent developing ways to teach God’s word to those who haven’t had the opportunity to find out who He is. And that is what I’m going to do.
From this point forward, I’m making a conscious effort to build more relationships outside of the social networking arena. I still plan to use Facebook, Twitter and other sites as a means of sharing information about Higher Ground Ministries and Books from Higher Ground. As a matter of fact, there are still many features of these sites that I will be using on a regular basis to call on others for support of these ministry efforts. And of course, if there is anyone out there who needs to talk to me for any reason; if you need me to pray for you, if you have questions about writing, publishing, speaking events, salvation, etc., you can certainly call on me at any time. I’m just not going to fall back into the trap of looking through an endless stream of memes about the same ten topics for the rest of my life. The long and short of it is, I don’t really need to know that much about anything but how to advance God’s kingdom and how to be a good mother to my daughter. Everything else is meant to keep me from doing those two things and I’m not falling for it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting encouraging thoughts and sharing encouraging or positive music or links. What I’m taking issue with is all of the “news” that tends to make its way into our stream of consciousness each day and night. It’s the constant bombardment of political issues such as racial injustice, economic warfare, terrorism, and glorification of what is clearly a widespread lack of social graces that I’m completely sick of seeing. These things are designed to keep us at odds with one another. They are tools of Satan and they are extremely effective. But we are children of the Most High God and we are way too good for this crap. We don’t have to get special alerts in our news feed each time someone out there does something hateful. Many of us see this behavior in one form or another during the course of our day to day lives. And if it isn’t our current view, it probably was at some point in the past from which our God has so graciously delivered us. When we finally start to find peace within our little corner of the world, the devil tries his best to keep the bad things right in our face, effectively convincing us that there is no such thing as peace.
But, I’ve always heard that the devil is a liar…and for me, the votes are in on that subject. He definitely works overtime to steal our joy and you best believe that the minute things start calming down in your life, he’s looking from something new to fuel the hateful fire in you before the glorious warmth of God’s light can take hold. Don’t fall for it…trust me, take a few days off…you’ll see when you get back that it’s like you never left.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:5 New King James Version (NKJV)