Monthly Archives: February 2016

Media Moderation

Media Moderation

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I Corinthians 9:25

Most people have some form of connection to the internet and social media today.  With mobile phones, and tablets of all kinds, we are living in a wirelessly connected world.  How does it affect the human brain and body?  How does the constant connections with other “digital people” in a virtual world affects us and our children?

Dr. Keith Ablow, a secular news commentator with articles frequently posted on Fox writes:  “For some time now, I have noted that young people— including adolescents, teenagers and those in their 20s— are disconnected from the reality of their own existences. Facebook, Twitter, Tinder and the like have made them think of themselves as mini-reality-TV versions of themselves. Too many of them see their lives as a series of flickering photos or quick videos. They need constant doses of admiration and constant confirmation of their tenuous existence, which come in the form of Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets.”

This substitution of media for real meaning has not only been shown to weaken their self-esteem and their ability to sustain themselves through adversity, but it can cheapen the value they assign to life in general— including their own lives. If all the world is a stage of pixels, and young people see themselves as their tweets and Snapchat photos, then taking a fist-full of pills could seem like no more than the equivalent of shutting down a Facebook account or turning off an iPhone.  Call it, “Suicide by Social Media.””

Dr. Ablow is on to something.

Recently our family eye doctor told us there has been an uptick of children getting glasses sooner than normal.  Their eyes are adjusting differently than generations past because they are so accustomed to holding a screen inches from their eyes.  We are a new society focused primarily on the next image on our little screens.

“Moderation” is a good word for diet and eating, but also for our media consumption.

1 Corinthians 9:25 is a terrific verse to know and apply to our everyday lives.  “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

If the athlete is “training for the mastery” he is limiting the outside distractions that would hinder him from becoming a master as his particular sport.  This is why we hear of sensational athletes choosing one sport over another sport.  It is so they can become a professional at one sport and be the best they can be at it.  One may decline football so he can become better at basketball.

The Lord gives us the answer here concerning the amount of time and attention we give to social media.  While we are social creatures, our primary reason for being alive today is to glorify the Lord and to make Him known.  We are to serve Him and tell others about Him.  One good use of social media is to tell others the Gospel.

However, the teenager and adult whose nerves are pulsating with heart beating, waiting for the next “like” or “friend” have their spiritual and emotional heart in the wrong place.  As Christians we find our fulfillment in Jesus; both emotionally and spiritually.

Here are some ideas to help:

  • Control social media; do not let social media control you. Sometimes the things we love most take the most time.  Give more time to the Lord.
  • Embrace face to face relationships and value the person in front of you more than a screen. Turn off the screen, look someone in the eye.  Open your mouth and say something.  Give a moment for a response and listen with your ears. Repeat.  I have to practice this too!
  • Turn off the device, tv, or cell phone at night. Some choose to not have the source of temptation close to them, to help them get away from it for a bit.  This is a good way to “rest the nerves” if you are inclined to wait for the next social endorsement.
  • Children and teens should not have access at night. Help your teens with this.  Avoid allowing them to take a phone or computer in their room at night.  Many tweens and teens with cell phones report a lack of sleep primarily caused by tapping on a screen most of the night.  Most trouble today with teens is caused or contributed to by unrestrained social media.  Set limits for your kids.
  • Moderation goes a long way. Some mothers gush and blush in front of face-book while their child is crying or their attention.  Some dads sit or snooze in front of a screen while there kids need time with him.  Set limits for yourself too.
  • Know the score. Know who your kids are talking to.  It happens too often; a young person runs off with a stranger they met on social media and end up abused or dead.  I read about it happening again last week.  Know and keep access to both the device and the accounts of your kids and your spouse.  Yes, spouses should share this information.

Always know: Our value does not come from how many “likes”, “friends” or “connections” we make.   Colossians 2:10 is such a helpful verse that builds our esteem and value:  “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

We are valuable to God because we are created in His image.  Jesus loves you.

When we turn to social media for emotional satisfaction, in a way, we are creating false idols that we hope will meet our needs.  Our spiritual and emotional needs are only truly met in Jesus.  “Moderation” is a good for diet and eating, but also for our media consumption.

How is your media moderation today?  Too much?  Need to control it better?

Be bold to make the recommended adjustments in your lifestyle.

Glorify the Lord with how you utilize social media this week.

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Loving God

Loving God

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.        Mark 12:30-31

With “love” on the mind of many people each February let’s take a moment to examine “love” in the Bible.  While we are to love others, and have a self-sacrificing, giving type love, for another to demonstrate true love, we must start with loving God first.  True Love for Others Starts with Loving God First…

We all know that people who do not love God are still capable of loving others.  In fact, you may know some lost people who appear to demonstrate love better than some Christians you know.  Everyone is capable of some level of loving others.  To make it deeper and longer lasting, it must have a stronger foundation.  It must begin with loving God, which starts when a person realizes how much God loves them.

To discover what this love for God looks like, we will look at each verse in the Book of First John that includes the word “love.”

“Love” is found 23 times in these five short chapters.  Take a moment to read each verse then make an application in your life for today.  Here they are:

  • 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (“Perfected” means completed or matured.)
  • 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
  • 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
  • 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
  • 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
  • 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
  • 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
  • 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
  • 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
  • 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
  • 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
  • 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
  • 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (“Propitiation” means payment or atonement. Romans involved in paganism used the word describing the turning away of wrath from their hateful gods. The True God made the only way for true propitiation with His very own Son, Jesus. Only Jesus can make a relationship to God right.)
  • 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
  • 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
  • 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
  • 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
  • 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
  • 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
  • 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
  • 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
  • 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
  • 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Did you notice how our love for God involves our heart attitude towards God and His Word?  Did you also note that it also includes the actions of our lives towards others?  We are not to love the world, its ideas and philosophy, but we are to love God’s Word.  To top it off, love does not live in fear of God’s will but in faith that God’s will is best!  Some people are fearful of relationships because relationships are risky.  A person living this way is not really loving God.  Keeping the commands of God are not grievous.  In fact, they are very rewarding.

Take a moment to examine your relationship with God and His commands in the Bible.

Take a moment to examine your relationship with worldly philosophies.

Take a moment to examine your relationship with other believers.

Purpose to love God with all of your life and being… Then love for others will become more evident.