If you are a Facebook Junkie, perhaps you should read the following devotional. It was the Friday morning devotional during the teen camps.
This devotional is not about a physical jungle but about the dangerous jungle of the Internet. Today we will specifically look at the jungle of Facebook. Some of you have already tuned out. You would almost rather give up your right arm rather than give up Facebook. Just today, I went with Nathan to talk to a sixteen year old young man named Yuchie. We parked at the top of a hill and walked down a path through thick jungle-like terrain. As we climbed down the hill, we saw two corrugated tin roofs in the jungle. Apparently one is their house and one is their nahs. A nahs is an open structure used like a family room or for sleeping, cooking or any other activity. According to the long-term missionary (Mrs. Arthur), neither of the buildings are completely enclosed and neither of them have electricity and indoor plumbing. Yuchie looks and acts like a normal 16 year old. What I really found astounding is that although Yuchie and his family live in extremely primitive conditions, Yuchie has a Facebook account. When he has an extra dollar, he walks to the library and pays for internet time to check his Facebook account. Perhaps this story will help you to understand the universal attraction of Facebook. There are some concerns, however, with Facebook. This morning would you prayfully consider how Facebook may be altering your commitment to Christ? We will look at a biblical principle for each of the letters of F-A-C-E-B-O-O-K.
F – Friends What is a friend? According to the dictionary a friend is “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.” With Facebook, however, a friend is no longer a person “with whom one has a bond of mutual affection” but anyone with a Facebook account that we have met once or twice. The Bible talks about good friends and bad friends. Do your Facebook friends help you to grow in your relationship with God or cause you to struggle? When friends use bad language, post inappropriate pictures or videos, or a link to inappropriate websites and other questionable posts, it is time to take action and use the defriend button.
1 Corinthians 15:33 states “Be not __________________ , evil __________________________ corrupt good ____________________.”
Facebook posts that are not above reproach will eventually affect your own testimony before God and the way you live your life.
According to Proverbs 12:26 what do the wicked do to the righteous? __________________________
The word seduce gives the idea of a slow leading or wandering away from holiness. Do you have any regular friends or Facebook friends that are causing you to slowly wander away from God? When you get home, are you willing to take the necessary steps to guard your heart?
A – Addicting Facebook can become a huge addiction in your life. Statistics show that Facebook is the second most visited site on the Internet. Google has slightly more “hits” per month, but Facebook far surpasses every other sight on the internet for total time online. The Facebook addiction is very real—with teens connecting to Facebook all night so they do not miss any messages. 1 John 5:21 says “Little children, keep yourselves from _____________.” Has Facebook become an idol in your life? An idol is anything that we put before God. Evaluate your own life. Do you check Facebook before you have your devotions? That could be a sign that Facebook has become an idol in your life.
Do you spend more time each day on Facebook or in God’s Word?
Circle your answer. God’s Word Facebook
Perhaps you need to totally give up Facebook for a week, a month, or even a year, or set a time limit for yourself.
In I Corinthians 6:12 Paul makes two important statements. First he states that “all things are lawful unto me, but all things are not _____________.” The word expedient means helpful or profitable. The second statement is “all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the _____________ of any”. The word “power” has the idea of “control.” Does Facebook have control over you?
C – Compromise How many times have you seen a post that surprises you? You see the music, restaurant, or activity that they post and begin to feel like you are the only one striving to live a holy and separated life. If Facebook is starting to make you waver in your convictions, it is time to get rid of Facebook. In II Corinthians 6:17 we are told: “Come _____ from among them and be ye ______________, saith the Lord, and __________ not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” The concept of biblical separation has become a lost concept in today’s world. Somehow we think that we are supposed to act like the world, look like the world, go to the same places that the world goes, and watch the same things the world watches. God has called us to be different. I Peter 3:14 states “but and if ye suffer for ________________ __________, happy are ye.” When was the last time you suffered for righteousness’ sake? E – Enviousness When you check your Facebook account, you learn about all the fun stuff your friends are doing. Often you may see things on Facebook that cause you to become dissatisfied with what you have and what you are doing in life. It is very easy to become discontent when you compare your life with someone else’s. Don’t let those pictures and posts on Facebook fool you! These friends are only sharing with you a brief highlight in their life. They still have schoolwork to do and chores to complete. Don’t get lost in unreality. Reality is spending time with God every day, quality family time, school, and work. Those pictures, however, do not make exciting Facebook posts. The Bible frequently warns against envy. According to James 3:16 what is where envying and strife is? _______________ and ________ _________
According to I Corinthians 13:4 “Charity ______________ not.” In Romans 1:29 notice the hideous sins listed with envy: “Being filled with all ________________, fornication, ______________, covetousness, _________________, full of _________, ____________ debate, _________________ malignity; whisperers.” If Facebook is causing you to become envious of others and lose your contentment in Christ, it is time to rethink the importance of Facebook.
B – Betray the God that calls you to be holy. Can Facebook cause you to betray the God that has called us to be holy? Yes, Facebook can desensitize you to the evils of the world. God is holy, and He has called us to be holy. Leviticus 19:2 tells us, “ye shall be _______: for I the ________ your ________ am _________.” Don’t allow the things of this world to become more important to you than obeying God’s command to be holy in your attitudes, thoughts, actions, music, dress, and speech. Your life should clearly portray the holiness of our great God. How many times have you watched a “funny” video with godless music? Little by little we get desensitized to the offense that those styles of music are to a Holy God. How many time have you clicked on a “must see” link and it takes you to an immodestly dressed woman? Are you disciplined enough to stop a video because it does not please God? How often do those links or videos incude profanity? God has called you to be holy. If Facebook is causing you to loose your holiness, it is time to disable your Facebook account. I Peter 1:16 states “Be ye _________; _____ ____ ______ ____________.”
O – Oops, I just wasted two hours on Facebook. Does that sound familiar? You plan to spend a few minutes checking Facebook, but you click on a link. You found that article to be interesting, so you read several other articles on the same site. The one article aroused your curiosity, so you checked a few other sites about the same worthless subject. Before you realize what happened you have just wasted two hours. Because of that wasted time, you skim through your homework and hope that you do not have a quiz on the assigned reading. When was the last time you spent extra time in your devotions? When was the last time that Facebook stole time away from your devotions? When was the last time you read a good book? And romance novels are NOT good books.
In Ephesians 5:16, we are told to “_____________ the __________ because the __________ are evil.” If you do not realize that the days are evil, your mind has already become desensitized to the wickedness all around you.
O – Obsession Are you obsessed with Facebook? Are you constantly thinking about what picture you are going to snap so that you can share it with your FB friends? Are you constantly thinking about how you can impress your Facebook friends or what kind of post will get the most “likes”? In Galatians 1:10 Paul does a penetrating self- examination. He asks “for do I now ______________ men or God? Or do I seek to ______________ men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the ______________ of Christ.” The word “persuade” is a word that means to “to win one’s favor.” So Paul is asking himself if he is consumed with winning the favor of God or man. Are you willing to honestly ask yourself the same question? Are you more concerned about gaining “likes” from your friends or favor with God? The verse continues by stating that you cannot please God you “should not be the servant of Christ.”
K – Kinship Within the past year, I talked to a man that told me a very sad story. His wife walked out on him and his young daughter. He even showed me the wedding ring that was still on his finger. He then told me how his wife started communicating with a guy on Facebook, and finally she left her family and moved in with this guy. He had the responsibility of taking care of his young daughter, and he took the responsibility very seriously. This family now has a divided home and marriage because of an inappropriate friendship formed on Facebook. This is a warning. The Bible does not specifically instruct us on how to use Facebook, but there are many principles in God’s Word that give us great wisdom in the area of friendships and sinful relationships. You need to be very careful in your online relationships, especially when it comes to friendships with someone of the opposite gender. Time and time again we hear stories of people that have allowed themselves to become much too familiar with someone over the internet. The outcome is always tragic. If there is temptation in this area it is so important to remove it. Read Matthew 5:30 and fill in the blanks, “If thy right hand ________ _________ cut it off…” If you are becoming too close to an online friend, cut it off, before it is too late!
There is nothing wrong with Facebook in and of itself, but there is a huge problem if it is influencing your life and distracting you from your walk with the Lord. Let Christ be lifted up in all you do in this area.