The Facebook Conundrum & Deceptions of the Heart

IMG_1624-blog

I’m not sure how to even begin here, gang. You see, I have this sort of love-hate relationship with Facebook, and I don’t really know what to do about it.

I’ve been having this inner debate with myself on what to do about Facebook for a while now (like for oh, say, two years now). Do I continue to use it as a means of communicating with friends as well as using it to share matters of the Christian faith that I pray will spur others on to a fully devoted life in Jesus Christ?

OR, do I step away and acknowledge the tugging on my heart that FB is an incredibly corrupted platform that sucks people in to the point of addiction and does more harm than good?  Uff…that came out kind of strong, eh?

But still… I don’t have an easy answer to either question on my heart. There are things that are incredibly convenient about Facebook, but I wonder…is it worth it?

Hence, the conundrum.

On one hand, it is a quick and easy means of communication, to enjoy photos of loved ones and, in the case of this blog, it is a platform for me to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  Although, rumor has it that Facebook will be removing faith-based groups from their site over the course of the next year.  We’ll see.  If that is the case, then I, indeed, have no use for it.

Here’s the catch, though…FB feels like this necessary beast that we just can’t get away from. Heck, I don’t even bother to email friends anymore.  Facebook is quite simply the quickest way to communicate, and as a friend of mine just pointed out to me, sending an email these days feels almost “formal” or extra work in comparison to Facebook.  I agree.

Then I ask myself…how do I even share this blog post without linking it into Facebook? I don’t have a clue.  If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!

Perhaps, I’ll have my husband post it to my Lovely Scribbles page, since he doesn’t get sucked in to the information overload the way I do.  I’m taking a hiatus away from my personal page for a while, so you won’t find me there for the time being.

Anyway, I digress.

The reality for me is that the good aspects of Facebook are all on the surface. What lies below the surface, or the bulk of the problem is that FB is a great tool of the devil.  Balk at that statement, if you will, but consider this…think of the extraordinary way it sucks people in and takes precious time away from fellowship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the way it robs us of our attention with our family, the way it keeps us from getting our tasks done at work and at home and so much more.

Come on, don’t tell me, you haven’t been sucked into at least one if not all of those scenerios!

We carry our cell phones with us everywhere…even to the bathroom.

Why?  Likely to check Facebook.

It is the ultimate distraction, is it not??

It feeds our inclination to procrastinate, to put off responsibilities, to avoid interacting with the real life, physical person sitting next to us, even our own spouses.

It PROGRAMS us.  Yes, I said programs us.  You see, what we put into our minds, affects our whole being. The more I think about it, the more I think I liked the freedom of my life before social media.

I’m not lying when I say that I literally thank God that there wasn’t social media when I was growing up.  My goodness, what a life-destroyer it has turned into for so many teenagers these days.  It scares the life out of me thinking of my daughter facing these challenges in today’s world.

We spend so much time putting other people’s thoughts into our minds that without stopping and checking those very thoughts under the scope of the Word of God, we leave ourselves unchecked, vulnerable, easily manipulated, deceived and, ultimately, at the mercy of the enemy rather than being led by the gentle and loving hand of our Heavenly Father.

Do you recall the old children’s Sunday school song Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See? Here’s a little look back…

O be careful little eyes what you see (O be careful little ears what you hear), (O be careful little hands what you do), (O be careful little feet where you go), (O be careful little mouth what you say)

O be careful little eyes what you see

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see

It’s such a precious and sweet children’s song…that wields the truth with the force of a sledgehammer.

We need to be careful about what we allow in into our hearts and minds, beloved.  Our hearts will fail us every time if not grounded in God’s truth.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:9-10 (KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

There is a very real problem for all of us who have tapped into that all encompassing world of social media.  Our mental filter gets compromised instantly because it’s just too much information to process…so much so that it just becomes easier to desensitize or “sear” our consciences to the point where the garbage just doesn’t bother us, all the while, the reality is that it’s destroying us.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (KJV)

We can even come to the point where we put so much other information in (outside of God’s Word) that we can quite literally drown out or quench and ultimately grieve the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life.

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (KJV)

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 (KJV)

So great is the loss of the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives, that Kind David prayed this prayer…

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Psalm 51:11 (KJV)

As Christians, that Holy Spirit inside of us is what gives us wisdom and discernment to recognize when there are things in our lives that do not honor God, so it’s important to stay in close fellowship with the Lord through prayer and through reading God’s Word to keep us sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

That being said, I just came across an article this morning titled Facebook Addiction Linked to Depression.  Okay, so this is old news.  We’ve been seeing these articles for a while now, but for whatever reason today, it just really bothered me.

While I have never suffered from depression, the information overload – garbage and all – even feels suffocating in many ways to me.  I can’t imagine what it would feel like to someone who already deals with depression and is trapped in the never-ending Facebook Matrix of false reality day in and day out.  Yikes.

That’s one of Satan’s greatest tricks, though…he mixes in a little bit of reality here and there and sprinkles it with a little bit of deception to the point where the line gets so blurry, that we can’t tell the difference between the truth and the lies.

Then, before we know it, all of the information becomes one giant compost pile recycled over and over again…only not in a good way.

As Bible believers, we shouldn’t be surprised by the crazy amount of information we now have access to as we find ourselves in the last days.  Daniel the prophet predicted this would happen long ago…

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

Do you want to know when Daniel’s book is unsealed?

It is unsealed by the only one who is worthy…Jesus Christ himself at the opening of the Tribulation (the Bible calls it the “Day of the Lord”) in Revelation Chapter 5.  You see, beloved, we are getting closer and closer to the Rapture of the Church, so we must keep our guard up now more than ever and discern how the Lord would have us to handle this intense increase in knowledge.

I feel like I use this passage a lot, but it’s still an important reminder to keep our guard up against the enemy, to keep our minds covered in the Word of God, and to keep our spirits sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading whenever we are processing an overload of information.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11 (KJV)

I don’t know about you, but if there’s any programming to be happening, I want to be programmed according to God’s will for my life, and the only way to ensure that happens is to input His Word into my mind and my heart.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 (KJV)

The thing is, gang, that the heart is easily manipulated and corrupted, which is why it is so dangerous to base our decisions (in this case, on whether or not to use a social media platform that the world believes it can’t live without) on our emotions and experiences rather than the unchanging Word of God.

It is also why God warns us to keep our hearts with all diligence. Why?  Because out of it are the issues of life.  The information that we allow into our hearts and minds affects our entire being, which is what makes Facebook so dangerous.  It is a complete and utter onslaught of information – good or bad.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)

Further, the words that come out of our mouths are a reflection of what is inside our heart, so we need to be careful about what we allow to influence our heart and even more careful about what what we allow to come out of our mouths. Again, I’m just as guilty of this as the next person.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. Matthew 15:18 (KJV)

In other words, what we allow into our heart will affect every area of our life.  That is a powerful truth, my friends. So, how do we keep our hearts? One of my personal prayers every day is this…

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (KJV)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

I don’t know about you all, but I need that constant, daily renewing of my mind according to God’s Word, and right now, I’m feeling like there is a little bit of competition for God’s renewing Word in my mind.

My personal struggle is that I am not strong enough to subject myself to that kind of onslaught of information day in and day out and not be affected.

What I mean by affected is that while I absolutely love the photos and sweet updates my friends and families post, those very things that I love are being overwhelmed and smothered out of my newsfeed by all of the other garbage, propaganda, etc. that FB and it’s sponsors are pumping into our veins, and it has just sort of left a bad taste in my mouth.

So, here’s where I’m at today… Sure social media can be a force for incredible good, but (and this is a big BUT) I find that I also subject myself to the enormous cesspool of evil and just plain and simple propaganda that encompasses it, and I don’t want that kind of influence in my life.

It’s like trying to pour fresh water (the Word of God) into sewage (the onslaught of wordly information).  Ultimately, the sewage will gobble up the fresh water and leave it tainted.

Or, perhaps, a better analogy is the age old story of the frog in boiling water.  If you put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out immediately.

However, if you put a frog in cold water, and slowly turn up the temperature, the frog will be cooked before it even has a chance to realize what’s happening to it. Facebook is like that for me.

It started out as an innocent means of communicating with friends and family, sharing cute photos, etc., but then they (whoever “they” are) slowly began turning up the heat.

Eventually our privacy was compromised, we became the guinea pigs of their social experiments, the subjects of their propaganda, and far worse, we became addicted to every bit of it, and before we could jump out the pot, we became the boiled frog.

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)

I don’t want to be that frog. Rather, I desire to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)

I don’t want to have any stronghold in my life, whether it be Facebook or anything else that would draw my eyes away from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

If it’s not one thing, it will be another, which is why we must stay in tune with God’s Word, and which is also why we must be vigilant and be on guard.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:17-21 (KJV)

Feel free to leave comments here on the blog as I will be checking out from Facebook for a little while. I will still continue to post here, so please check back from time to time for new posts.

Blessings to you all!

In Christ,

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Facebook Conundrum & Deceptions of the Heart

  1. Jeremy Roy O'Byrne says:

    Nic, I can not begin to tell you how proud I am of you. I am astounded at the transformation I have seen in you over the last year and a half. You have increased in knowledge and discernment. I have been exceedingly criticized for ignoring my phone and texts, often in a humorous and light hearted manner. However, the truth of the matter is that the convenience of our technology only further isolates us from true friendships and real fellowship. Too use a term our grand father often used, we are also “shirking” our responsibilities. I remember having devotions with him, in which the term “shirk” first entered my vocabulary. As well, this was the first time the meaning of the word was defined for me. We go to our jobs, do them well, give great effort, but shirk our real work at home and responsibilities to our house and family that dwells within. Obviously we shirk our responsibilities to our church, one on one human communications, and fellowship. I once heard a speaker say “isolation is the killer of dreams.” There may be no greater creator of isolation today than that which is the effect of the use of social media. Maybe this defection from FB will be a permanent one. Good for you!
    Jer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s