Daily Bible Devotional: Commentary on 1 Colossians 10
Are you addicted to the Internet?
1 Colossians 10:23 "Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."
Many years ago, I attended a large gathering at the Oakland Coliseum to listen to evangelist Billy Graham speak. Something that he said to the crowd stuck with me: When talking about the Internet, he said that the Internet could be a great blessing but also a great curse. Although I took many other good things away from his sermon, those words really stayed with me. I think Mr. Graham was spot on, because the Internet has pretty much turned out to be exactly as he said.
What things could be a great curse through the Internet? Of course the first thing that probably pops into mind are the rising rates of pornography viewable on screen, available pretty much at any time to someone that wants to look. The statistics are truly staggering. According to compiled numbers from respected news and research organizations, every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. Every second 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography. In that same second 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the U.S. Child pornography alone on the internet is thought to bring in more than 50 billion dollars a year in business, reports show. Talking to a friend of mine yesterday, she mentioned that her son-in-law, a police officer, said child porn is rampant and out of control. Cases are piling up and there are limited resources to catch people watching, distributing and sharing child porn. This is definitely a “great curse” upon society.
The other less subtle ways that the internet is a curse is through other addictions. One of them actually has a diagnostic name: Internet Addiction Disorder. This kind of addiction is not illegal, like child porn is, but can also be damaging in many different ways. Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is defined as Internet overuse,problematic computer use or pathological computer use. It is excessive computer use that interferes with daily life.
Within the last few years, I have begun to see how many families lives are being affected because of one of the partners, mothers or fathers addiction to the Internet. And I’m not talking about porn, I’m talking about the massive amounts of time some people are spending on the Internet. If this is hitting a sore spot for you, maybe this is something to think about. Do your online activities take precedence over your own family? Does your online activity mean you have less family time to spend with the people you love? Are your dreams, hobbies and goals being ignored because you spend so much time on the Internet?
Internet Fasting - a way to break an addiction
I can say for myself that I have been guilty of spending too much time on the Internet. When I finally realized this I started taking “Internet Fasts”. The first time I did this, on the first day of my fast, I found myself actually having sort of withdrawal like symptoms! My urge to go on the web was pretty strong. After a day or two though my mind actually started to calm down and I felt more peaceful and focused. My thoughts turned towards my family, my responsibilities and my relationship with God. It was then that I realized how addicted I had become to my computer! I vowed then that I would never let the Internet become the focus of my life, that it was not necessary to check my Facebook every few minutes, or check my emails several times a day (for those in business though of course this is part of your work)
As a writer, I do have to use my computer and social media a lot, but even with that I am now able to “turn off the switch” when necessary. And when I do, I feel a freeing feeling. My family appreciates it, my dogs enjoy it and my house suddenly becomes cleaner. My relationship with God is renewed and my mind becomes clearer about what things in life are really important.
Something to think about: Has the Internet been a “blessing” or a “curse” in your life? Or both perhaps? Are you using it to glorify God or to relieve boredom? More importantly, does your Internet use affect your relationship with your family?
Coming soon: My new 365 day devotional
This is just one devotional in a series of 365 devotionals that will one day be a book - both in hard cover and for the Kindle. All the text in this is my own (except of course for the Bible scriptures) I will be using the NIV (New International Version) for most of my reference to scripture. All the photos used will also be my own photography. If you would like to see more of my art and photography you can also visit me at www. dorsidiaz.com where I will also be chronicling this new book, along with my ideas for writing, marketing and creating e-books for aspiring writers. Thank you for reading!
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