In our friendship groups or school, we all know someone who’s constantly attached to their phone, updating their Facebook status hourly, and tweeting into the early hours of the morning. Hey, you may even be that person yourself.
I hate to admit it… but I am one of those people. Most of the time, I’d like to say I’m quite fired up for God. I give a lot of time to my CU and church during the day, but once I’m home, you’ll find me glued to my phone, iPod or laptop (sometimes all three!)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that social networking is all bad. Used in the right way, it can be a great method of sharing God’s word and empowering others.
My youth leader and I started Tweeting a Bible verse every day with the hashtag #worthsearchingfor and we found that so many people were favouriting or retweeting the verses we posted, even if we’d never met them!
Personally, I find it starts to go wrong when it gets put before Jesus. All too often, I find myself venting all my thoughts, ideas and worries onto Twitter, or Facebook before I bring them to Him. And in fact, sometimes, they don’t even reach Him.
I’ll check Facebook before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up, and I’ll read my Bible only if there’s nothing interesting happening. I can be full of God energy at house group, or at church, then I’ll get home and immerse myself in other people’s lives and it very quickly brings me down.
Which is why I, the most internet-addicted person in my youth group (in fact, probably our whole church!), am making the decision to give up Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for Lent – a six-week Blackout if you like!
Personally, I find it starts to go wrong when it gets put before Jesus. All too often, I find myself venting all my thoughts, ideas and worries onto Twitter, or Facebook before I bring them to Him.
Honestly, I know I’m going to struggle. I know I’ve got some difficult situations coming up during Lent, such as my A-Level mock exams, where I would normally dump all my stressful thoughts onto Twitter.
Giving it all up means I’ll have nowhere to turn but to Jesus and good friends.
I believe God calls us to give everything we have to Him, and by that, I mean that we should spend as much time as possible in His presence, be that through worship, prayer, reading the Bible or serving in your school or on the streets.
During Lent, I tried to give as much of this new free time to God – directly through reading the Bible, but also indirectly, by spending more time talking to family who live far away and doing more things to give back to others.
Open Doors works with Christians who are persecuted and forced to keep silent about their faith. And so I too chose to keep silent. Sharing their faith via the internet isn’t even an option let alone a choice for our brothers and sisters in countries such as North Korea, Iran and Somalia.
Although it was uncomfortable to give up social networking for six weeks, I was reminded of our brothers and sisters who are placed daily in situations that you and I couldn’t begin to imagine. They don’t get a choice. But I made this choice on their behalf.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.