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Crawford's Kingsmen Kommentary “Hey Facebook! I love Jesus!”

Feb 7 | Posted by: Randy Crawford

This one is going to get us all. All of us who FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, or the like. It's pointed squarely between my eyes. It hit me after I watched believers in Jesus get on Facebook and fight back and forth over topics about forgiveness, love, family, redemption...all topics that should be cut and dried, right? Nope . . .Seems there were a million different ways of looking at all those topics. But that's NOT what got me thinking, or convicted. What got me to thinking was this...how much time did I just spend reading all this mess? How much time do I actually spend on social media period? How much time do I spend playing silly, useless online games? How much time do I spend watching YouTube videos of bands I like? How much time do I spend watching Netflix or online shows? If I added all of that up...how does that stack up with the time I spend in God's Word? Listening to God's teaching? Getting closer to God? That's when I got convicted. Big time.

Now I'm not a huge social media guy. I use FaceBook. I also have a twitter, and Instagram account but I honestly don't use Twitter and Instagram enough to know much about them. But I spend some time online doing other things. I love watching YouTube videos of my favorite bands. The Beatles, The Eagles, Journey, etc. And to say I LOVE my shows on Netflix, CW, A&E, and History Channel is an understatement. There are several series I watch without fail. Where there is nothing wrong with any of this, it has become blatantly clear that all those activities can intrude on my time in God's Word. 

How does this happen? How do we go back and forth online in debates and discussions over politics, religion, recipes, cat videos, and sports teams – FOR HOURS – and not have one thought that we could, no, we SHOULD be spending more of that wasted time with God in His Word?  As I already said, there is nothing wrong with any social media/gaming/YouTube activities, UNTIL they begin stealing your time with God and His Word. If I love Him like I should, I would be in His Word more than social media. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8)

Question . . .What is the huge attraction with social media? I have a feeling that if you will dig into your hearts a bit, the response will be similar to mine. I spend so much time on social media sites because it makes me feel important. I've always had self esteem issues to begin with. It feels good when people, with a simple click, affirm what I am saying, agree with my statements on life, or praise my singing. By becoming my friend or following me you have just said, "I value what Randall Crawford has to say. You may laugh at that, but we all get a little ego boost when people like our comments or we gain tons of followers.

This begs another question: Why am I looking there to feel important? The honest answer is if I need man's approval, then I don't believe the gospel. Hear me: I am a Christian, I love Jesus, and I am assured of my salvation. What I am saying is this: When I feel the need to get my approval from social media, I am forgetting that God has already approved me because of the death of Jesus on the cross.

By Jesus dying the death I deserved, he has paid the price for my sin and has given me his righteousness  - and that is why I can draw near to God the Father. This is called justification. I don't need to seek the approval or love of people on FaceBook or Twitter because God the Father, right here and right now, is looking at me and saying, "Randy, you are my son. I have adopted you and made you an heir to my eternal kingdom, I love you" (Eph.1:5; Gal:4:7).

Social media can tell us subtle lies. Its easy to get a rush from those lies. Logon and say the right things and you can experience affirmation. You feel accepted and important. Jesus says you do not have to go and seek affirmation, I have paid a great price for it, by my blood you have affirmation that is eternal!

There is one other reason, I believe people camp out on social media sites – they are just plain nosy.

A nosy person interferes in business that doesn’t concern him, offers unwanted opinions, or asks too many personal questions. Paul mentions widows who could be labeled as “nosy”—those who “get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to” (1 Timothy 5:13).  A “busybody” who intrudes into the lives of everybody else and gets involved in what does not concern them is “nosy,” and the Bible says this is unsuitable for a Christian.

Of course, it is not just “widows” Paul is addressing. That is just the example he uses. People can be found nosy in all kinds of situations, ESPECIALLY social media! The motive for being nosy could be boredom, dissatisfaction with one’s own life, or a desire to influence others. Paul’s solution for the busybodies in Timothy’s church is the same solution for nosy people today: find something profitable to do (1 Timothy 5:14).

Being nosy may seem harmless enough, but it is interesting that the Bible associates idleness with evil. Paul tells the women in Timothy’s church to be busy with their own families and so “give the enemy no opportunity for slander” (1 Timothy 5:14). The writer of Proverbs says, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28), and Paul equates slander and gossip with foolishness, malice, and even murder (Romans 1:29–32), sins that lead to spiritual death.

Of course, your sincere Christian friends can ask personal questions in an attempt to offer heart felt counsel or help, or to simply show love and concern. This is not being nosy. A nosy person is trying to ferret out personal details they can then share with others for their own pleasure. It is important not to do be nosy or to be friends with someone who gossips, because “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33) and it is easy to be hurt by someone who is only interested in being nosy.

All of this pulls us away from our time with God and God's Word.

Here are 5 simple practices I am implementing to help me with this:

1. Don't look at my phone for the 1st hour I am awake.

2. Spend the 1st hour I am awake participating in life giving spiritual disciplines (reading my Bible, prayer, quiet time with God, playing with my kids, talking with my wife, etc.)

3. Turn off the computer and phone during certain times of the day. Specifically during meals, times of study & prayer, & late in the evening.

4. Don't reply to negative comments social media sites or argue back and forth. None of that will build up the body of Christ.

5. Repent. Repent when I give myself over to the foolishness of man rather than residing in God's Word. And repent when I feel the temptation to find my worth in things other than Jesus, and know that He has forgiven me fully, restored me fully, justified me fully.

 

“My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.

 All other ground is sinking sand.”

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