Monday, February 14, 2011

Redeeming Technology

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Colossians 4:5 (NKJV)


We are living in the midst of wonderful technological expansion. More than any previous generation, we have become comfortable with and even dependent upon the advances technology has brought us.

Recently I have heard from several of my friends who are taking a techno holiday and signing off their internet accounts for weeks or months. The reason they give for doing so is the massive amounts of time they realized they had been spending reading and posting on various sites. They say that it had begun to consume their lives and led to discontinuation of other previously enjoyed activities. 

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NASB)

It seems everyone from toddlers to octogenarians has some form of electronic device that connects them to the internet and its abundance of information and entertainment. This is both a good and bad thing, for we are most certainly aware of the heartaches that result from misuse of the internet. Young boys and girls "sexting" pictures of themselves from their cell phones, and the ready availability of pornography are just two of the negatives technology has brought us. Virtual relationships are now the norm for teens and many adults. Social networking sites allow people to connect with long lost friends and family; unfortunately this has begun to replace face to face conversation and interaction.

The results of technology is not all bad, there are many positive uses for all of our gadgets too.  By God's grace and with wisdom and discernment we can redeem these things and use them in ways that glorify God rather than bring Him dishonor. 

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 (NASB)

It takes discipline to determine to use your Facebook account to only post things that are edifying. I confess I struggle with this, because sites like these allow a person to spew whatever thought is in their head at the time. It is so easy to post foolishness and become completely self-absorbed through this media. As much of a thrill as it may be, it is not necessary to post every thought or pictures of every waking moment in Twitter.

I find that it is too easy to allow my fingers to reveal the sinfulness of my heart. Before you decide to press "post" do you read your comments as though you are seeing them through the eyes of someone else? Do you consider how your posting will be perceived by unbelievers or those who are struggling or need encouragement?

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)

It requires wisdom to know how what you intend to say on Twitter will impact those who read it. Will  your Tweet make much of Christ? Will those who read your micro thoughts know that Jesus is your Lord as well as your Savior?

You see, I strongly believe we can use all of these tools for the promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and use them to become biblical touchstones in the lives of people we may never meet. However, to do so we must show ourselves to be people who not only say we are Christians, but present an accurate picture of what that means through the social media. This requires honesty and carefully chosen words on our parts. It also demands that we are immovable in our commitment to glorify God in what we do and say. Examine your most recent posts and tweets and see how yours measure up against the immovable standard of God's Word. If you realize that you come up short (you see sinful things in your postings etc.) confess, repent and make a decision to go in a direction that reflects Christ in you, the hope of glory!

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