We live in a world that wants things instantly. A world that is constantly advancing and modernising in technology, by which means anything can be formed or improved and given to us within an instant. Smart phones, the internet and social media, are all clever and efficient ways that can be used to communicate, research, educate and inform, but in this day and age, we must be extremely careful of HOW we use these resources. Because, while the internet can provide information for a school study, and phones and social media can keep you in touch with a long distance friend, they can also damage and poison our minds if they are not used well. We are told in 1 Corinthians 15v33 to “be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” Likewise an evil use of the internet will corrupt our good habits.

1 John 2v16 says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Are the things we’re looking at on our screen, of the lust of our flesh? Or the lust of our eyes? Because if they are, it is urgent that we do something about it immediately. What would Jesus say if he was standing over us watching what we look at on our screen? If we continue to look at things on the internet that may be inappropriate, immoral, violent, or displeasing to God in any way, the consequence will be dire. Our lusts will lead to sin. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death” James 1v14-15. We must take our use of phones and the internet seriously, because if we don’t, the consequences will also be serious. So let’s ask ourselves, do we use the internet as a tool or as a toy?

If obsessive or inappropriate use of the internet is a problem for us, what can we do to change our behaviour? Well we must remind ourselves that the things of this world are temporary, but the things of God last forever. Once we grasp hold of this concept, we must then replace the problem with something that is spiritually uplifting. Consistent prayer and daily reading of God’s word are essential for us to help us leave the world behind and draw closer to God. Explaining and confessing our faults and problems to Him will help us to overcome the challenges concerning social media and the internet. Getting together with friends to examine His word, and encourage each other in the way that is right will also no doubt spiritually strengthen us. And of course we must always remind ourselves to “set no wicked thing before mine eyes” Psa 101v3. Maybe it would be a good idea to stick this quote next to our laptop or computer screens to be a consistent reminder.

It may also be a good idea to brainstorm the ways in which we can use our phones, social media and the internet as a tool, and not as a toy. Downloading the Bible readings app, starting up chats with friends meant specifically for discussing God’s word or downloading Christadelphian talks on various topics are all healthy ways we can use these resources as a tool to help us towards God’s Kingdom. If, however, after implementing these spiritual activities we still cannot overcome the obsessive, evil habit, then we should consider confiding our problem with someone we trust; a close friend, teacher or parent for example. Confess to them the problem (as James 5v16 says) and allow them to help you, give you constant reminders and check up with you often. By doing this you will then have someone to be accountable to and help you overcome the problem together.

If, after confessing to a friend, we still cannot resist the temptations of the internet, then drastic measures are needed. “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” Matt 18v9. Likewise we may need to cast out our smart phone altogether. Block the internet and delete our social media accounts. If nothing else is stopping us from playing with these resources inappropriately as a toy, it is better for us to get rid of them all together rather than be rejected at the judgement seat.

God is merciful and longsuffering, He understands that we are human and that we fall short to temptation. If we trust Him and wholeheartedly repent of our sins then He will give us a place in His glorious kingdom, which is so soon to be set up upon this earth. Therefore, let us “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” Heb 10v23, and let us “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” 2 Cor 4v18.