How do you feel when someone says: “Do as I say, not as I do“?
Do we blame the weak mother who stayed with the alcoholic father and allowed it to happen?
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
’• Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Technological advancements have provided Christianity a greater platform to propagate the Gospel of Christ and to further the cause of God’s Kingdom on earth. There is a downside to this, however. Perils may surround the unwary Christian and sweep him away from right living.
In a 2016 survey, adult Americans spent an average of 5 hours on the television. A survey on Australian kids revealed an average of 12 hours of online watching and 10.5 hours of television watching. The figures give insight to a likely trend ongoing worldwide. Those with access to television and Internet programming are pouring a big chunk of their time into this form of entertainment.
1 Corinthians 6:12 teaches us an important principle through Paul: “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.” Christians, young and old, must find a right balance between relaxation and productiveness.
There are lots to see and discover online and thru print media. New innovations, new products, new services, new places to visit, new experiences to try; information to all these are within reach. The curious and the adventurous will want to try them all. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Caution must be exercised so that one doesn’t become addicted to buying things and accumulating stuff. Addicted hoarders and spendthrifts started out with a few finds.
Caution must also be exercised so that one doesn’t fall prey to the practice of “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Social Media does a great job in updating us of the latest trends and news. We see what new thing our friend or celebrity idol has recently acquired and we start to desire the same thing for ourselves. What others acquire and achieve may become our standard for success and happiness if we are not careful. Jesus warns us in Luke 12:15 to “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
It’s fun to share one’s experiences online. That bargain you were able to get, that fun trip you had, that awesome view that you were able to see; these are good things you can share with others. In most instances, what people share on social media inspires others or gives information which other people may need one day.
Caution must be exercised that this doesn’t become a habit with an underlying motive to brag or be prideful about something. In Galatians 6:4 we are reminded in this way: “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.” So, when you post something online, ask yourself what you really hope to achieve and be careful not to share anything under false pretense or to gain unnecessary attention to yourself. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that whatever we do, the honor should be towards God. Self-exaltation is never right.
Let technological advancements be fruitful for you. Access and enjoy these innovations with moderation and whatever you do, maintain the right motives and mindset.