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Today’s Truth

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16

Friend to Friend

As Christian believers, we are called to live set-apart lives. To be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 19:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:7). To be in the world, but not of the world. God is the source of all holiness, and in order to live set-apart lives – to be sanctified – we must spend time with Him and allow His Holy Spirit to lead us.

God loves us too much to leave us as we are. He wants much more for us than that! God’s plan is to make us more like Himself… to sanctify us. He is Yahweh M’Kaddst, the Lord our Sanctifier.

Let’s take this street level. I don’t know what your days look like, but mine are pretty full. They start early and end late. Once the sun rises, it seems that coffee isn’t the only thing brewing in my house. An invisible competition brews daily that vies for my time and attention. The competitors are often “good things” that end up to be “time-robbing things” that keep me from God’s best and God’s presence. When I’m kept from God’s presence, I’m also kept from growing in grace: major loss for me.

Have you been there?

Does an invisible competition brew in your home and heart too?

I’m thinking: Yes. We all struggle with this.

So what are some of these “good things” that end up being “time-robbing distractions”? They look different for each of us. We are all like snowflakes and fingerprints: unique. A few good things that come to mind are over-commitment, activity overload, electronics, excessive shopping, volunteering at church or community service.

Yep. Went there.

Again, none of these things are bad in and of themselves, but they can become a hindrance to sanctification if we allow them to take precedence over our personal growth with Christ.

A big one for me is electronics. Let’s put our computer lives under a spiritual microscope for a moment. Ahem! I’m an e-girl. I love my computer, my iPhone, email, and social media. Though I’m admittedly fully immersed in the e-life, I’m also cognizant of the fact that the e-world has become a dangerous addiction and spiritual deterrent to many.

I struggle with this personally. These electronic forums host a powerful and efficient opportunity for us to connect with other people 24/7. While much of social media, online surfing, and emailing is innocent, encouraging and fun, these things also present us with opportunities to sin and to become distracted from set-apart living.

Over the past several years, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, games, and texting have replaced many of our face-to-face conversations. For some of us, time with electronics has replaced and/or diminished our devotion time with the Lord. Online activities have become a new source of temptation for us, an opportunity to live a fantasy or a momentary escape from the daily grind.

A friend of mine confessed, “My computer whispers to me.”

Yikes! Mine does too. I readily admit, at times I don’t manage my time efficiently because I give in to the lure of e-life by responding to an electronic notification. As a result, I waste time because I’ve spent it unwisely – therefore, robbing myself of productive time.

We’re warned against this in Scripture. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV).

Now, hear me clearly on this: I am not saying that electronics or computers are bad. In and of themselves, they aren’t bad. I’m simply suggesting that it would be wise for each of us to prayerfully consider the amount of time and energy we devote to these things.

How can we be set apart in our e-life? How can we establish healthy e-boundaries that will protect our purity and our time with God? Perhaps we could start by taking an honest look at the amount of time we commit to our social e-lives versus the amount of time we commit to spending in God’s Word and in His presence each day. (Did that sting? Yeah, it stings me too.)

The good news is that we can turn to God for direction in all of this. His Word points us to a vital promise of wisdom that will guide us in holiness. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV). How awesome is that? God loves us so much that He offers us an endless supply of wisdom. We just need to ask – so that we are enabled to walk in His wisdom and to live each day in His holiness.

Are you holy as God is holy? Do you want to thrive in grace?

When we determine to grow in sanctification and allow God to lead us to deeper places of grace those around us will see the hope of Christ in us. Isn’t that where we want to be?

No matter where we find ourselves on the path of sanctification, it is encouraging to remember that God’s not done with us yet. God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Please help me to live a life worthy of You. Help me to bear fruit in what I do and make choices that lead to holiness.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read, meditate on and discuss the Message paraphrase of David’s prayer to the Lord found in Psalm 51:10-12. “God, make a fresh start in me. Shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!” (Psalm 51:10-12, MSG)

ACTION POINTS: Spend some time in thought and prayer about this subject.

Ask God to reveal to you any e-habits that are sinful, indulgent, or inappropriate.

Check your on-line notification settings and consider eliminating unnecessary email alerts. Then let’s meet on the wall of my blog to discuss this topic and pray for one another!

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11 Responses to “Watch Out For This!”

  1. Claudia says:

    Thank you for this truth which for me was so convicting – I know that the devices we have invested in are not bad or sinful but when my time is consumed by e-activities then it replaces my time with God. This has bothered me for a while and I honestly am convicted and will pray for wisdom guidance and help to not be caught up in this web any longer.

  2. Angela says:

    I’ll be honest… My family and home life is so distraught that Facebook, phone games and the like are a distraction for me that i give into even to the point of not giving my child the time she needs. It’s like I know this is an issue, and while sometimes what I’m doing is fairly important, nothing should be more important than her–other than time with God (whom I also don’t give enough to). I am glad that we have devotionals and the Bible on our phone though as it allows me to catch minutes with God I wouldn’t otherwise have.

  3. Abby says:

    This hit home for me too. I spend way too much time on Facebook.

  4. April says:

    Everything in moderation but God. Electronics, food, drinking etc. All worldly addiction’s can keep you from living in fullness of God. I want my home to be a safe place for my family and friends to come to relax and enjoy. We’re supposed to be the land of the free but we work more than any other country and have less vacation time. Americans need more down time to meditate create and share with family and friends. Most of all to center to their lives in Christ.

  5. julia says:

    same here spend way to much time on Pinterest (trying to say off of facebook. its depressing anymore and to me stupid.

  6. Shelly-Ann says:

    Wonderful message! Thank you. Let us strive to make God the focus of every second our lives.

  7. C.Orris says:

    Thank you for this msg. I’m going to retire soon, and I want to be in the now,in my own life, not the social media world. I want to experience nature, not the virtual world. Thank you again and Bless you.

  8. Yvonne says:

    This really hit home for me. I can lose an hour or more just browsing Facebook, or leaving comments. It’s an addiction.
    Blessings, for sharing this subject!

  9. Rebecca Jones says:

    I love sharing Jesus on Pinterest and my blog, I am not up to par on all electronics but I can get too involved behind my desktop and miss the face to face conversation, admittedly sometimes connecting that way is better though. It is a good idea to get back to people, some of theme are forgetting how to talk or spell, lol. And take them away from the children, let them go out and play. By the way your blog page said Ooops, you blew up the internet.

  10. Connie says:

    Yes. We all struggle with this. The enemy uses whatever works to keep us from experiencing the closeness with God that we crave. Even good things can become distractions from God’s plan. Setting healthy boundaries is a great idea to battle the distractions. Something I need to work on for sure. Thank you for sharing your insight today. Many blessings!

  11. Amy says:

    Time is the most precious resource. Don’t allow anyone or anything to dictate how it’s used other than the Holy Spirit. Remove all social media notifications from your phone and computer. If you’re worried about missing something, remind friends and family to call you for something urgent. We need to learn the difference between urgent and important. Urgent must happen now, important must happen, but can wait. Don’t fill your time with what the world deems important. Fill your time with what the Holy Spirit deems important.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8