Did you think I was going to talk about pornography when you read the title? Pornography definitely is a growing and serious danger in this culture where absolutes barely exist in the mind of most and the internet make it very, very accessible. It has destroyed thousands–maybe tens of thousands–of marriages.
Or maybe you read the title and you thought I was going to talk about the danger of online buying and how now, at the press of a button, we can buy almost anything our heart desires, as long as we have a big enough credit line. This, too, is a danger and we need to be on guard to be good stewards of the material possessions God has put in our care.
But I think one of the biggest dangers and most deadly for many Christians is the temptation to compare. You see, when I was growing up, I didn’t know (or need to know) what was going on in anybody’s life outside my family and close circle of friends. Oh, I might have heard about someone’s exciting job promotion or dramatic weight loss through the grapevine, but it wasn’t part of my everyday existence.
But, alas, came the birth of Facebook and suddenly people are posting all that is good about themselves. We want to present our best side to the public and so most of us post about the good things we are doing and the exciting, positive happenings of our lives. And, of course, this is the natural thing to do, and I am not saying it is bad (please be sure to understand that).
Blogs and Pinterest are also danger zones in this temptation for comparison. We see the amazing, incredible creations of others or the business accomplishments they have had or the homestead they have created or the amazing interior decorating or even the huge amount of followers they have and we grow dissatisfied and envious.
It is very, very tempting to compare and become unhappy when we dwell on what we can’t do or don’t have. We have to be so careful to keep a proper perspective if we are investing our time in viewing these sites, because envying isn’t doing anyone any good (and it is also a sin! Exodus 20:17).
God has given each of us certain gifts and talents. He has given us each different body types. We have been blessed with different types of families. We have different tastes in style, food, and hobbies.
Some husbands are romantic. Others are not.
Some kids do fabulous things for Mother’s Day. Others do not.
Some people have the resources to take fantastic vacations. Others do not.
Some people are naturally thin. Others are not.
Some have kids who always win awards. Others do not.
Some have amazing, interesting jobs. Others do not.
Some are amazingly talented and crafty. Others are not.
I have occasionally found myself envying someone on the screen. I have to catch myself and make an intentional decision to be happy for them. This is not always easy for me (am I alone here?) as I try to tell myself that they certainly have their own struggles and that the grass is not always greener on the other side. And, as a Christian, it is my job to rejoice with them! But sometimes it is hard. Especially if it is an area I am struggling in. God continues to work in my heart in this area.
You see, it is a heart issue. We need to learn to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11) and then, and only then, can we visit Facebook or Pinterest or any other site with an open heart to learn something or to rejoice with others, instead of being filled with that dreaded sense of envy and jealousy.
This is linked up here :)
2 thoughts on “The Danger of the Internet”
Leslie, you are telling the truth! It is even hard for me, a woman who has really had a radical lifestyle change. I am so concerned about the younger generation coming up in this messed up environment. Nothing is as it seems and truly good is looked upon as ‘bad and visa versa! Thank God for God!!!!
That is one of my biggest concerns, too. That is when it helps me remember that God is much bigger than any evil or deception…because if I don’t remember that, I can grow very fearful!