July 8, 2009
A new addiction?
Great thoughts from Susanne Sheppmann:
A new addiction slipped into my life recently - Facebook. Internet social networking slid in quietly and unobtrusively. Each day I found myself reading and posting a bit more. I learned how to create my visual bookshelf, so my "friends" could check out what I was reading. I linked my blog. My time seeped into Facebook like grains of sand slide through the hourglass.
My addiction soon took a turn for the worst. I began to put off my personal quiet time with God until after I had Facebooked. Sadly, scripture seemed boring next to my friends' postings. Strangely, the mundane posts intrigued me. I had fallen under the spell of social networking.
Then one day, I dragged myself away from my laptop. I had Bible study that night and needed to finish my lesson. The lesson pointed us to the book of Nehemiah. I read, "They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God." (Nehemiah 9:3, NIV).
Yikes! They read God's Word for a quarter of the day, then spent another quarter of the day in confession and worshiping? These words haunted me the rest of the afternoon. When was the last time I spent that much time with God? How much time did I spend on the Internet? I felt a deep conviction about my Facebook addiction.
I determined that day to read my Bible, my FaithBook, before I turned on my computer each day. I would network with God, before networking with my friends. When I made this decision, I saw scripture jump back to life. God's Word spoke to me with a freshness that seemed as if He had just posted it Himself.
The addiction stopped. Oh, I still enjoy Facebook and other social networks, but I have learned to keep them in proper perspective. Psalm 119:59-60 sums up my new intent: "I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands" (NLT).