Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourself, measuring yourself by the faith God has given you. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. ( Romans 12 + 13 ) These thoughts, and many others from Romans, have shaped my actions over the last couple of months concerning social media and the internet in general. I don't know if I can accurately explain how the Spirit has been changing my heart in these areas, but suffice it to say, change was needed. God used His Word, the writings of others, and my son Graeme to get ahold of my heart in this area.
Somewhere during the last couple of months, things in my heart began to change. That satisfaction of knowing what everyone was up to and seeing who agreed with who and how many people disagreed with this article and dot dot dot. It all started to fade away. It wasn't immediate and it wasn't without resistance on my part. But instead, God's planted seed of his word in my heart began to call out for more.
I quickly realized that Facebook was not the only thing feeding my laziness, lack of authenticity, and misplaced satisfaction. Really, my perusal of the internet in general was obnoxiously guilty too. I began asking Steve to just put the laptop away and not to tell me where he put it! I'm pretty sure I added about twenty nine extra hours to each day, ha! In all seriousness, though, it is amazing to see what can get accomplished without the distraction of internet.
And that is where these pictures come in. Over the last couple of months, God has actually taken my media addiction and has begun replacing it with his word, new friendships, more time with my children, teaching Graeme scripture and songs, new hobbies, and new book studies. I can't explain it fully, but I feel like I was given a new look at the transforming power of Christ. I felt like I was given a gift.
Recently, I read this article, and many things that Piper said resonated with me. Here are two paragraphs that I thought were so helpful.
Fundamental to the Christian view of self-control is that it is a gift. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . . self-control" (Galatians 5:22). How do we "strive" against the our fatal desires? Paul answers: "I labor, striving (agonizomenos) according to His power, which mightily works within me" (Colossians 1:29). He "agonizes" by the power of Christ not his own. Similarly he tells us, "If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live" (Romans 8:13). "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6). We must be fierce! Yes. But not by our might. "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD" (Proverbs 21:31).
And how does the Spirit produce this fruit of self-control in us? By instructing us in the superior preciousness of grace, and enabling us to see and savor (that is, "trust") all that God is for us in Jesus. "The grace of God has appeared . . . instructing us to deny . . . worldly desires . . . in the present age" (Titus 2:11). When we really see and believe what God is for us by grace through Jesus Christ, the power of wrong desires is broken. Therefore the fight for self-control is a fight of faith. "Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called" (1 Timothy 6:12).
I understand that the whole media battle isn't everyone's. But it is for sure mine. And I guess those paragraphs by Piper just hit me square in the nose. It's true-- I cannot 'just say no'. I can't simply hide the computer or log out of Facebook, although safeguards are truly necessary. But I have to truly see and believe what God is for me via grace. Thank you Jesus for your power over sin, the superior preciousness of your enabling grace, and for allowing us to see and savor all that You are for us. I believe that your power is enough, please help my unbelief!