(Can yall just pretend there is an awesome, appropriate picture here that draws you into read the post below? K, thanks!)

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve taken a break from Facebook. I’ve done this before but this time feels different. I’m perfectly okay with the possibility of being gone forever.

There’s no candy-coated way to lay it all out to make myself look noble for doing such a thing. I know people take breaks from Facebook for many reasons, lots of them good! I really love the good things about Facebook. It has redeeming qualities for sure… But Facebook is not good for me. Often it turns in to downright sin. Sin doesn’t have to be blatantly “bad”. Sin can come in all forms. I recently had a talk with Luke about sin. He was asking me how to determine when something in your life that isn’t an “obvious” sin, is in fact a sin. Here’s how I explained it to him… When something is taking away time that you normally would spend with the Lord, it’s sin. If you can watch TV, play games, get on Facebook, go shopping or {fill in the blank} but you never have time to spend with the Lord, there’s a problem. It’s sin. I told him when something is hurting your relationships with people, it’s sin. If you’re face is always in your phone or computer and you aren’t spending time with your family, it’s sin. The same can be said about lots of things: hobbies, friends, even charities or organizations you may be involved in. Even work can hurt relationships. Also, if something effects your work negatively to where you cannot work with integrity and diligence, then it’s sin. A good question to ask ourselves is, what do I think about most? We love what we spend time doing or what we spend a lot of time thinking about. As a man thinks, so he is. (My paraphrase of Proverbs 23:7) This conversation was good for Luke, but it was especially good for me and reinforced my decision to stay away from Facebook. Facebook was stealing my time and affections. That sounds so dumb, right? But it’s so true. And sin is dumb, by the way.

“Sin is not merely wrong doing, but wrong adoring.” (Tony Reinke)

I’ve known for a long time that I struggled with this but I never had the power to completely cut it off. I’d take a few days off, try to schedule my time better, set time limits… but it never worked. Mark 9:43 says, “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” So, I just cut off my hand. I’m committed stay away until God says otherwise.

I tell all of this not to show myself great. I can assure you, it’s quite the opposite. It’s been a long battle. Obedience, like salvation and faith, is a gift from God. He is my power and on my own, I totally fail. I share this because it’s important for us believers to take sin seriously, no matter what it is. My time, service and affections belong to God. He’s called me to specific tasks. When I allow something to come before that, it’s sin, plain and simple. It’s idolatry. It’s empty and futile. Something like Facebook might seem silly to some but you pick your own vice… gambling, eating, shopping, spending money you don’t have, sports, desiring praise from others, friends that cause you to stumble, game apps, television… and the list goes on and on. “.. the lure behind every addiction is the same. We turn to a God substitute to find our joy, our security, our hope and our approval.” (Tony Reinke)

I want those things: joy, security, hope and approval. I know truth and I believe God’s word. God is true satisfaction. (1 Timothy 6:17-19, Psalm 22:26, Romans 15:13, Matthew 5:6, Psalm 91:2) I know this, yet in my flesh, I still battle with sin taking God’s place but it’s a battle that is worth fighting. He is the only hope that can stand and hold me through it all. His approval is all I need.

The greatest truth in it all is that He deserves my adoration. He is worthy of all my affection. Those other things are futile. Whatever I battle tomorrow and forever do not compare to His glory and His worth. I want to live my life continuing to fight, die to myself and live for Him. This is the desire of my heart.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26

P.S. The quotes from Tony Reinke are from the book, The Joy Project. There are a few free downloads of the book here. I ended up getting the kindle version for my kindle app so I can highlight! I’d love to know if anyone is reading it or wants to read it with me. I need a discussion partner! Send me an email or FB message (yes, I kept Facebook messenger because that’s my only way of communicating with some!).