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« Podcast: Let the Lord do it HIS way | Main | 5 ways to spend more time with God »
Tuesday
Apr262016

8 ways not to get sucked into the foolishness on the Internet

iStockArticle By Kendall Brodie:: EEW Magazine

So much foolishness is circulated on the Internet daily, it can be easy to get sidetracked.

The latest Twitter trends, celebrity feuds, divorce news and the juicy gossip of the moment can pull you away from what you really need to be doing: focusing on spiritual matters and working toward your destiny.

So, how can you avoid getting caught up in the endless stream of mindless news, negative drama and time-wasting silliness on the Internet?

Here are 8 ways:

Click away.

“ For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)

A very wise, God-fearing woman once told me, “Protect your ear-gate, your eye-gate and the gate to your heart.” Sometimes our curiosity and need to stay current and know what's happening gets the best of us. But it’s not good to press play on every video that pops up in your news feed or click to read any old salacious headline you see. If it is not edifying to your spirit, why are you indulging in it? Watching and reading too much of the wrong things awaken the wrong things within us.

 

Value your time.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Anything you place a high premium upon, you tend to guard more ferociously. Our time is one of the most precious, yet most wasted commodities in our society. See the importance of every second and minute of your day, and let nothing drag you away from what matters. Ask yourself, "Why would I let something that is of no value to me, take away something so valuable from me?"

Avoid bad influences.

“Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.’…” (2 Corinthians 6:7)

Just as social media allows you to “share”, “like”, and “favorite” posts you enjoy, you also have the freedom to use the “block” feature as necessary. If you notice that someone is always sharing unwholesome information on your timeline, get them out of your feed. Unfriend, unfollow, and do whatever is necessary to disassociate yourself from the poison they constantly share online. If you were always breathing in toxic air, it would make you sick. If you're always taking in unhealthy online information, it will adversely affect your spiritual, mental and emotional health.

Hate what God hates.

One of the six things the Lord hates is “a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil” (Proverbs 6:18)

What do you run toward? What do you rush to on the Internet? If everyone could see your online viewing history, what would it reveal about you? We are not to take pleasure in the things that go against God, no matter how appealing the world makes them seem. Besides, you ought to hate what God hates. So let your “feet” or better yet, your mouse clicker, go toward what is good, useful, pure and uplifting. Though real-life bad news like tragic deaths, crime, and other unpleasant real-world happenings will reach us, shield yourself from mischief and gossip.

Ignore Vanity.

Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." (Ecclesiastes 1:2) "

How to look 10 years younger; the secret weight loss tips all the celebrities are going crazy over; the latest fashions to die for… and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. When we fill ourselves to the brim with meaningless, vain, futile information, there is no room left for substantive, helpful, thought-provoking, true self-improving, biblically sound insight. There are no weight loss “secrets” apart from healthy eating and exercise. There is no fountain of youth. And most of the fashions magazines are promoting are from companies that have paid them to do so. So stay focused.

Ignore the comments.

"Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips." (Proverbs 14:7)

There are some fools online and lots of them. When possible, avoid them. This is not to say that you should try to mute someone else’s point of view, yet there needs to be boundaries set up. If you are reading an open comment thread full of vulgarity, hatefulness, racism, hyper-criticalness and general insensitivity, click away. And by all means, don't go back and forth with them online. It's just not worth it! Proverbs 26:4 says, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him."

Stay out of others’ drama.

“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice” (Proverbs 24:17)

With research proving that reveling in others’ misfortunes makes others feel better about themselves, you can see how alluring someone else’s drama can be. But there is a thin line between general reports of breakups, legal suits, sexual impropriety and other illicit acts, and all the "gossipy" speculative content based on the rumor mill, but not rooted in any fact. When you find yourself rejoicing in someone’s publicized calamity, personal issues and public failures, it’s time to do a heart check. We are not supposed to derive any pleasure from anyone else’s drama. It could be you.

Put God First.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)

Where is your treasure? Do you most value material things, status and pleasure? Or is Jesus the love of your life? When Christ is at the center of your world, everything revolves around Him and you are willing to give up anything to follow Christ. You keep your attention focused on making sure your ways please Him and your life honors Him. If you truly treasure Him, let your actions show it. The time you spend devoting your life to Him, proves your commitment to the things of God.

In the age of social media, though distraction has taken on a fairly new form, there is nothing new under the sun. Recreation and frivolous things have always competed with man’s allegiance to God.

Choose your clicks wisely.

If you want to preserve your soul’s salvation, check your online habits and keep them in check.

RELATED: 5 ways to spend more time with God

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