Hit the “Flee” Button

social media 7

Matthew 5:29-30 (NLT)

29 So if your eye—even your good eye causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

 

Perhaps an appropriate 21st-century addition to Jesus’ warning given in Matthew 5 would go something like this:

“If social media causes you to sin, log off.”

In a Washington Post article, Jacob Brogan admitted that he is “ashamed of the way he is on Twitter.”  The way he tells it in the article, almost everything about his experience with Twitter is a source of shame, from the things he writes on Twitter to his insecurity and the way that Twitter reveals his need for approval.  He’s even ashamed of the fact that his mother has four times as many followers as he does.

Here is a link to the article.

His “clearest consolation,” he says, is that he’s “far from alone” in his Twitter-induced shame and he uses the example of ESPN’s Keith Olbermann, who was suspended after a Twitter fight with Penn State fans.

Brogan’s misgivings about himself and Twitter is his springboard to discuss shame and how it relates in the age of social media.  And so, he repeats, he is ashamed of his Twitter persona and then adds “you probably are too.”

While Brogan’s self-examination is praiseworthy, it does make me wonder “Dude, why don’t you just get off Twitter for a while!”  After all, what he’s describing is what moral theologians call an “occasion of sin.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia New Advent describes “occasions of sin” as those “external circumstances…which either because of their special nature or because of the frailty common to humanity or peculiar to some individual, incite or entice one to sin.”

Now, calling something an “occasion of sin” is not the same as saying that it’s the cause of sin.  The cause of sin is human fallenness and the “perverse human will.”

But there are settings and circumstances that make sim more likely than others.  That’s why the Apostle Paul urged Timothy to “flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

On one level this should be obvious, the stuff of common sense.  For instance, a person who struggles with lust shouldn’t subscribe to Maxim or pick up the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.  In the same way, recovering alcoholics shouldn’t visit bars regularly.

But for some reason, it’s just not as obvious that our mass consumer and entertainment culture has become for many one big occasion of sin.  For example, not long ago, the Lexus car company ran a commercial promoting their ‘F’ series saying “that the ‘F’ series will provoke lust, unleash wrath, incite envy, and elicit pride.”  That’s four of the “Seven Deadly Sins” cover in just one commercial.

I’m not saying that buying one of these cars is a sin, but the commercial is just another indicator of how, to rephrase the old saying, “sin sells.”

It isn’t only the advertisers either.  Most of the people and institutions competing for our attention these days do so by appealing to our feelings like fear and anger, as well as lust and pride.  And virtually none of them urge us to think about what is pure, lovely, commendable or praiseworthy.

Now this doesn’t mean that we should automatically shun Twitter or any other social media.  But it does mean that we should be aware of our weakness and be more intentional about how and where we spend our time.

Our adversary is, as Scripture reveals, a roaring lion, a predator ready to ambush us at our weakest hour.  And just as zebras avoid places where lions like to hide, we should avoid those places and circumstances where we are the most vulnerable.

For some of us, that is social media.  For others, it’s something else.  Either way, the solution is the same: get out of there.  Sometimes when we find ourselves on social media and getting into situations that we should not be in, our best course of action might be to hit the “flee” button.

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About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
This entry was posted in Accountability, Attitude, Change, Communication, Decisions, God, Growth, Image, Influence, Inspirational, Jesus, Motivational, Opportunity, Prioritize, Purpose, Reinventing Yourself, Relationships, Sin, Social Media, Thoughts/Mindset, Time and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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