Before you ask, no I’m not an old, crotchety curmudgeon that plans to rant and rave about how the Internet is going to ruin future generations. (Just wanted to get that disclaimer out there!) I love the Interwebs! I mean, I blog for Grace Community, I can’t hate technology! It’s how we’re beginning a dialouge this very moment. What I do want to discuss is how we use the Internet – or, as you will see, any entertaining outlet – to put ourselves in the place of God.
On a normal night, I will come home from work and spend a moderate amount of time in front of my computer. Usually I tackle dishes, get some reading in, spend time with my fiance, or go out with friends, whatever the case may be. On a “bad” night, however, after I throw dinner together I can plop down in front of this screen at 7pm and not realize how much time I’ve spent online until it’s almost 10! That’s seriously crazy.
It would be a whole different ball game if I were spending almost three hours searching for ways to support world missions, learning about needs in my local community, or connecting with people who need to hear the Gospel. But, what do I end up doing? A few YouTube videos, a few Facebook updates, a couple retweets, and more pins than I’ll ever know how to handle. Why are we so addicted to entertaining ourselves? Then, it hit me, it’s a way our sinful hearts want to take the place of God.
What am I really trying to get by entertaining myself is worship. Worship can be defined as devotion to an object of esteem. What do I oftentimes crave from my Facebook friends? Acceptance or even praise. How about those YouTube videos? Amusement, I want my virtual performers to make me happy. Pinterest, which I wrote about on my own blog, leads to an immense amount of dissatisfaction and – let’s face it – coveting. In practice, I am telling God he made a mistake when he gave me exactly what I have.
Do you see what happens when we try to “play God”? Pride, sloth, covetousness, and a wasted three hours. Ephesians 2 describes those not in Christ as “sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Carrying out the desires of the body and the mind. The Internet has a great capacity to improve – and has improved! – the lives of billions. Yet, through the Internet, we have a greater ability than ever to attempt to form our own domains of which we are functional gods. How’s that working out for you? Are you any happier? More fulfilled?
Let me offer a solution. As with all Scripture, Ephesians 2 continues:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
The next time you log on, spend your time reflecting the fullness of life God has prepared for you. Or, better yet, seek God where he has revealed himself – in Scripture – that you might see the immeasurable riches of his grace. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, repent of your self and come to Christ by faith and experience newness of life. Visit Grace Community Church in Berea, KY and hear that Jesus saves.