Where do you start? If you want to find out some information on any topic, where do you start looking? Twenty years ago you might ask a friend, stop at the library, or even look up an ‘expert’ on the subject in the phone book to find out more. Today you can do an internet search about any given topic and see what any number of sources, some credible and some not, may have for you. You can even just ask your ‘virtual assistant’ to find it for you with mixed results. By most any measure, even if you live in the boonies, you have access to more information than you can possibly consume in multiple lifetimes. Is this a good thing?
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
A hammer can be used to build up or to tear down, and so can books, or any tool including the internet. You don’t have to look long to find trolls and cyberbullies trying to tear someone apart with hurtful words. When you have people sharing thoughts, feelings, and suspicions with little accountability, it becomes more difficult to discern the truth from mere speculation. Even with credible news sources, revisionists selectively leave out or highlight certain points of a story to give it more emphasis using subtle suggestions. Whether a news reporter uses the term Pro-Life or Anti-Abortion gives you an idea how they feel about the same group of people. What you consume can influence your thoughts and life in ways that you may not even be aware, for better or worse. Where do you stop?
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
Now, if you have a smartphone or internet access, you have every word of scripture, in multiple versions at your fingertips. Does this mean we read it more often? Maybe not, but it does allow access to someone who otherwise may not have picked up a Bible. While I was typing this, I just received a text from a friend who wanted me to listen to a sermon series, and sent me a link. On this site, there are thousands of hours of video sermons and messages that I could watch. Beyond scripture, you can even access nearly every sermon ever preached from pastors like John MacArthur, or even from a sermon given on July 8, 1741 by Jonathan Edwards. The possibilities are endless.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:12-14
If you search Amazon for books about relationships you will have over 500,000 to choose from and not enough time in the rest of your life to get through 1 percent of those. With a plethora of books, videos, and random things to read or watch, how do you decide where to invest your time and where to steer clear? There is probably as much bad information as there is good information on the web, so how do you tell the difference? If you are grounded in the Word of God and led by his Spirit, he gives you the ability to discern good things from bad, even if not obvious on the surface. As you mature, you should be able to learn that spending hours of time watching meaningless videos or playing games is not beneficial to you or your family. It can easily consume your life and take away from things that are good. So use these tools for things that are beneficial to you and others, and use them in moderation to keep things in balance. Many will be glad you did!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Yours in Christ,