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Why Join the Internet Community?

One important aspect of being made in God’s image is that we are created for relationship rather than living in isolation. We’re made to function within community.

The Internet community is limiting in its role—it’s not the same as doing life together in daily interaction that requires godly compromise or provides accountability, or the give and take that is necessary in close quarters. But social sites provide an important community function similar to what the local coffee shop once did.

I recently encouraged a friend to sign up for a twitter account. Why, you ask? Why add one more piece of social media to my life that can clog my brain with more info than I can already handle?

Good question. It took me a good long while to finally plunge into the social media world. I resisted for these reasons:

  • Time: Who has enough of it? You can’t manufacture more of it and I certainly don’t need another thing in my life that drains it! So why add something to my life that can become a major time-drainer?
  • Soul Danger: There are several subtle dangers lurking behind the happy social media world. One of which is its addictive pull. It caters to the ugliest part of man’s nature: pride. The system is set up to fuel narcissism. It’s like the junior high popularity game on steroids.

“Experts” are now telling us that social media sites like facebook can be a source of unhappiness and jealousy, or lead to feelings of discontentment and inadequacy. I’ve not experienced that, but I felt like I needed to include their warnings on this post.

  • Stumbling: In the multitude of words there is greater opportunity for sin (Prov. 10:19). There is a greater opportunity to intentionally or unintentionally harm someone by something I post online. 

The Internet removes “face-to-face inhibitions” encouraging some users to post ugly comments they would never say but feel comfortable typing on screen. Pictures and information are passed through these sites that are nauseating and alarming. It’s pretty much like the onslaught of depravity that hits me in the face anytime I walk through our local mall.

So why would I encourage anyone to add one more thing to their lives that has potential dangers?

Because of community. Because of the gospel. And because of the glory of God.  

I’ll explain what I mean by that in tomorrow’s post, as well as provide some practical tips for protection from the dangers I mentioned above. You also might want to check out a post I wrote on this topic back in 2011.

But before I weigh in on why I participate in the Internet community, I want to hear from you. Are you using social media? Why or why not?

8 Comments

  • Debbie S

    I will look forward to tomorrow’s post.
    As Christians it is always our chief goal to glorify God whether it be face to face or on the internet. In fact, we need to be even more careful when posting online because we don’t have the benefit of body language, tone of voice, and immediate response with opportunity to clarify or ask for forgiveness if warranted. If in that delay time much hurt and harm can be done before we have opportunity to set things straight (repent and confess our sin).
    For someone like me who is more home-bound these days due to my illness the Lord has used the internet to keep my connected with friends through Facebook, my Caring Bridge blog, e-mail and our church’s prayer chain. The internet can be a blessing or a curse depending on how we used it.

  • Linda

    Hi Kim,
    For the past two years these social media and blogs such as yours have been my only source of therapy and encouragement. They have been great in keeping me going up to now. And I have prayed that social media and books alone will be enough to heal me. I am grateful for the social media. I think they served well as God’s hand. But I have come to a point now when I wish I knew how to get some face to face time with a Christian advisor who could help me. You see I cannot bear this mediocracy waiting for him to forgive my past incorrect fierceness.

  • Tambra Lucas

    “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight oh God , my strength and my Redeemer.”
    Psalm 19:14
    Even though we may not speak vile words, we can still have ugly-heart intentions and using the internet to express those feelings are unacceptable to God’s eyes. God knows and sees everything and He knows our heart and it’s intentions. Nothing is hidden from Him.
    I see it all the time , people are posting their thoughts and feelings in order to vent their hurts, anger and to get revenge or sympathy. And you ask them why they posted such things and they dodge answering, because they usually do not address names, just express their heart attitude and the issue, so as to let the person know they are upset.
    It really grieves my heart, because this is not the way of a peacemaker, and it can never get resolved this way.
    But sometimes it’s innocent, because the impersonal way of social media blocks the personal and genuine understanding of what’s being intentionally said.
    Sometimes when people don’t know you well or your personality they may read you differently through your typed words. So it’s good to help them to understand your thoughts and statements. Sometimes I use lots of smiley faces!:):) Because I use sarcasm in a fun loving way.
    I know I really have to watch what I post, In the real world I have a fun-innocent-sarcasm in my personality. But on the internet or social media it may seem rude, harsh, or judgmental. Sometimes what I mean does not look like what I intended to others. I so want to glorify Him in the social media world.
    My opinion of the social media world on a bad note is that many people are using it as a way to address others without having a face to face honest conversation.
    They are using it in a way of speaking what their heart is but distancing themselves from having to be upfront with person to person honesty, conversation and resolutions. Of course most of the people on social media are not believers and do not have a reverence for God’s Word and could care less about resolving in a peaceful godly way.
    We as believers so need to be a light in the social media world, just as God has called us to be a light in the real world speaking with real people. Showing love, grace, mercy but without compromising the Truth of God’s Word. And we should never use social media as a way to slander or attach others or even share hurt feelings for everyone to see. If we are not a light in the social media world who will be?? It would become a place of real darkness. We should look for every opportunity we have to exalt and glorify the name of Christ. Let your light shine in a way that glorifies your Father in heaven!!

  • Tambra Lucas

    Let me correct one statement , we can share our hurts with others in seeking advise like these blogs where God uses it to minister and help those in need and who are seeking Him. Just not using facebook as a place to share things with those who don’t need to know or see.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Debbie ~

    Your are right, the internet can be a blessing or a curse depending on how we use it . . . I so hope women keep that in mind. I think it is such an asset for people who are home-bound, and others who have limited contact with mature believers, or even those who have a church home but have limited resources for spiritual growth.

    With my daughter and grandchildren living several hours away, it is a blessing to be able to connect with them and “see” what is going on in their lives, as well as friends across the globe.

    I’m thankful to have this way to connect with friends like you! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Linda ~

    I will join you in praying for a mature believer, a woman in the faith who can be a help to you. The Father is gracious, He has promised to forgive us for our sins when we confess and repent (1 John 1:9). But there is a path of growth we must choose in order to walk in daily victory over sinful tendencies.

    Do you have a copy of “Fierce Women?” I think you might find some practical help in breaking free from destructive fierceness.

    Pausing to pray for you now ~