Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just one more...

With all the information and entertainment widely available online, it is incredibly easy to use up our time on things that are less-than helpful to our spiritual lives. It may begin with a quick search for a project tutorial that leads to an hour long browse of various home projects. It may be a decision to watch a 2 minute video-clip a friend shared that leads to a 20 minute time-lapse of other similar videos. It may be a weather check that leads to reading all the latest news, perhaps news that really pointless gossip or needless information. The question posed in a recent Desiring God post was: what leads us to click that link?

It is question that I believe we generally do not consider.

"They do little for us because they have little to offer. We click, we read, we watch, and often we feel dumber for it. Such clamorous links litter the Internet, offering up celebrity gossip, bizarre crime stories, violent videos, and sexual images — each link asking for little more than a click (such a petty request)." Why We Click Stupid Links

It is true that our curiosity is often peaked by things that have no usefulness to us, and merely waste our time. Not only that, but since nothing is neutral, often those links become catalysts for turning our hearts away from Christ and to various forms of selfishness and me-centeredness.

"Vain curiosities are, by definition, dislocated from God and powerless to point us to Christ. They fill our brains and hearts with disruptive temporal trash." Why We Click Stupid Links

What a sobering thought. We waste much time because we pursue idle things that are powerless to point us to Christ. They don't edify us or cause us to delight more in God. Instead, they give us a way to escape our problems or boredom, a sense of pleasure, or a good laugh.

How little eternity is fixed upon our hearts, that we can be so easily pleased!

What then, should we consider before we simply check out that video or click that link? Desiring God suggests the following questions to ponder:
  • Am I seeking out hyperlinks that offer me a promising pathway to see more of God’s beauty?
  • Or, are my hyperlink habits unregulated, prompted by some inner whim, and terminating on nothing more than my vain curiosity?
  • Or, most tragic of all, are the hyperlinks I click on really just a series of pint-size pothole cisterns out of which I hope to slurp up a little gratification for my empty soul?

May our hearts not be turned by something so small and insignificant.


Friday, November 8, 2013

What is your thankfulness rooted in?

We're exhorted to be thankful this month. Even our culture at large recognizes and acknowledges it. It's wonderful to be thankful, and certainly God wants us to be a grateful people. We have much to be grateful for. But our thankfulness is rooted in something deeper than the fact that we have family, a house, food on the table, a job, or good friends. Our thankfulness is rooted in what the Lord Jesus has done for us through coming to earth and dying on the cross to rescue us from our sin. Our gratitude is rooted in the gospel. Don't forget the gospel or brush it off as something for those who aren't Christians. The gospel is for here and now. It is for you. Today.

“The more absorbed I am in the gospel, the more grateful I become in the midst of my circumstances, whatever they may be…When I look at any circumstance that God apportions me, I am first grateful for the wrath I am not receiving in that moment…Secondly I am grateful for the blessings that are given to me instead of His wrath. This two-layered gratitude disposes my heart to give thanks in all things and it also lends a certain intensity to my giving of thanks.” Milton Vincent