July 8, 2009
“They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.” Nehemiah 9:3 (NIV)
A new addiction slipped into my life recently - Facebook. Internet social networking slid in quietly and unobtrusively. Each day I found myself reading and posting a bit more. I learned how to create my visual bookshelf, so my “friends” could check out what I was reading. I linked my blog. My time seeped into Facebook like grains of sand slide through the hourglass.
My addiction soon took a turn for the worst. I began to put off my personal quiet time with God until after I had Facebooked. Sadly, scripture seemed boring next to my friends’ postings. Strangely, the mundane posts intrigued me. I had fallen under the spell of social networking.
Then one day, I dragged myself away from my laptop. I had Bible study that night and needed to finish my lesson. The lesson pointed us to the book of Nehemiah. I read, “They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.” (Nehemiah 9:3, NIV).
Yikes! They read God’s Word for a quarter of the day, then spent another quarter of the day in confession and worshiping? These words haunted me the rest of the afternoon. When was the last time I spent that much time with God? How much time did I spend on the Internet? I felt a deep conviction about my Facebook addiction.
I determined that day to read my Bible, my FaithBook, before I turned on my computer each day. I would network with God, before networking with my friends. When I made this decision, I saw scripture jump back to life. God’s Word spoke to me with a freshness that seemed as if He had just posted it Himself.
The addiction stopped. Oh, I still enjoy Facebook and other social networks, but I have learned to keep them in proper perspective. Psalm 119:59-60 sums up my new intent: “I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands” (NLT).
Will you join me in the commitment to spending time in God’s Word before time spent on Facebook?
Dear Lord, I recognize that I spend too much time on the computer. Forgive my inattention to Your Word. Help me each day to place You first in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Listen to Today’s Radio Show for more about spending time with God.
Pierced by the Word by John Piper
Birds in My Mustard Tree: How to Grow Your Faith by Susanne Scheppmann
Today, take notice of how much time you spend on the computer for personal enjoyment. Decide to make your quiet time with God a priority. Read Psalm 119 and then ponder the benefits of time spent in God’s Word.
Do I put off my quiet time with God in lieu of “social networking?”
Am I willing to commit more time to reading the Bible?
How can I begin to keep my life in a healthy balance?
Exodus 24:7, “Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, ’We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.’” (NIV)
Romans 10:17, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (NIV)
Joshua 1:8, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 08 July 2009.