Just the Facts

OK…I’m not a fan of Facebook. I have seen very little conversation there that is spiritually uplifting or even just plain positive. The feeds are filled with arguing, complaining, bickering, and foolishness.

People post things to get others to feel sorry for them, to seek support to right the injustices in their lives, or simply lie about situations. Here’s the cycle: someone rants, someone agrees, someone disagrees, then the people agreeing and disagreeing turn on each other and the fight is on. As believers in Christ, engaging in this type of behavior just isn’t scriptural…on so many levels.

The book of Proverbs warns all of us about something very dangerous with this type of behavior. Let’s look at Proverbs 18:17 (NLT). Here’s what it says:

The first to speak in court sounds right – until the cross examination begins.

In other words, there are two sides to every story. Folks who go out on Facebook with their tale of woe seldom provide all the facts. They provide the side of the story that supports their position. This is what Proverbs is talking about. Most stories sound believable until the cross examination begins. If we knew all the facts of the situation it would make us re-evaluate our thoughts and be ashamed of some of our public comments.

I spent many years of my life as a police officer. I was in court almost every week. When a defendant first took the stand to testify, the stories often sounded very good. It wasn’t until the cross examination took place that defendants were caught in lies. Witnesses took the stand and provided evidence that contradicted the defendant’s testimony. Now the judge had both sides of the story and the evidence.

Next time you read something on Facebook, ask yourself about the other side of the story. If you don’t have all the facts, not the hearsay, don’t engage in discussions like this. They are divisive and certainly don’t model Godly character. Participating in discussions like this is gossip.

Here’s a thought…get off Facebook entirely and do something productive with the time that God has given you. Before we open Facebook for the day let’s instead open our Bibles and hear what God has to say. God doesn’t speak in status updates and we can’t expect to grow spiritually by spending our time there.

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Hey…I Got Another Like!

I was talking with a young lady not long ago and here is what she told me. She said that she had a lot of work to do but thought she would just go check Facebook before starting her work. She laughed and said that before she knew it she had spent several hours on Facebook. She still had all her work to do and had wasted several valuable hours.

A report from Bloomberg that was released last week gave these statistics:

  • Facebook revenue is now at $2.91 billion.
  • Facebook has 1.32 billion active users.
  • Facebook says that the average user spends 40 minutes every day checking Facebook.

Many Facebook users also have Instagram accounts. Business Insider recently reported that the average Instagram user spends 21 minutes a day checking their accounts.

Many folks today don’t limit their social media experience to only these two platforms. Many folks also have Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest accounts. However, let me give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you only use Facebook and Instagram.   The average user is spending one hour each day on only these two social media platforms.

What could you do with an extra 7 hours of time every week? You could spend more time with God, your spouse, your children, reading your bible, exercising, or maybe just relaxing a bit.

Sometimes I think we have become tangled in this social media time trap. What problems have you actually solved on social media? What solutions have sprung from your time on Facebook? How have you grown spiritually on social media? Am I saying that you should leave your social media accounts? Of course not…that’s your call. But I am saying go figure out if you are wasting time there. Keep a log for the next week and see how many hours you are spending on social media. On that same log, keep an account of the problems you have solved and solutions developed during those hours.

You might be surprised by what you find and make a change. A change that will provide more time in your life to focus on issues that really make a difference for your life and the lives of those you love.

What Do People Do More Than Read Their Bible? They Do This.

https://vimeo.com/87894128

In 2006, CBS News conducted an interesting poll.  They found that about 40 million people in the United States and Canada read the Bible every day.  However, the poll also found that 143 million people in the United States and Canada are doing something else.  What is it?  They are actively using Facebook.

Let’s fast forward to 2014.  Facebook just celebrated their ten-year anniversary and reported that they now have 757 million daily active users.  I realize that this figure includes folks from around the world but I wonder what the world would be like today if 757 million people read the Bible every day.

The Associated Press recently reported that about 400 billion photos have been shared on Facebook.  If you printed out the pictures four to a page on regular-sized sheets of paper and put the paper end to end, it would stretch for about 17 million miles. That’s enough paper to reach to the moon and back 34 times.

Based upon some of these survey numbers it is highly probable that many followers of Christ today reach for Facebook before they reach for their Bible.

Now before you tell me that Facebook and social media are wonderful tools for reaching people for Christ, let me say I understand that.  I like social media and am an active part of this myself.  However, I really like what Jennifer LeClair wrote in an article for Charisma News. She said this:

Somehow, even if Facebook were a part of mainstream Galilean culture, I don’t think Jesus would give up fellowship with the Father to check Facebook. It’s become a near addiction for some people.

Have you sacrificed fellowship with God to play Candy Crush or look at pictures on Facebook? Have you been neglecting Bible reading and now wonder why you don’t hear God speaking to you anymore?

Maybe it’s time for all of us to get our priorities straight.  Next time you reach for Facebook ask yourself if you have had your time in the Bible yet that day.  If you haven’t, put Facebook away and pick up your Bible.  It’s probably time for you and God to exchange some status updates.

Let’s Waste Some Time

A few years ago John Maxwell wrote a fascinating book called, Today Matters.  In that book Maxwell noted that what we do with our time each day will determine our future.  I believe Maxwell is right.

According to Reuters News, Americans watch an average of nearly 35 hours of TV each week. That’s almost equal to a full-time job. In the average home, there are more television sets than people.

According to another survey by America Online and Survey.com, American workers are wasting 2 hours of every 8-hour workday, and that doesn’t include lunch or scheduled break time.

Specifically, this survey revealed 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work. Of that group, 39 percent waste one hour or less each week, 29 percent waste 2 hours each week, 21 percent waste five hours per week, and 3 percent said they waste 10 hours or more each week.

The survey also revealed which websites employees visit most while they should be working. Any guesses? Facebook occupied 41 percent of those wasting time and 25 percent are shopping at Amazon while they should be working.

I suspect if you asked those watching 35 hours of TV or those wasting time surfing the Internet about their life plans, they would tell you that they always wanted to start their own business but just don’t have the time.  Or perhaps they just don’t understand why they can’t seem to get promoted at work.  I bet you would hear an endless stream of excuses for why these folks can’t seem to get ahead.

The answer is very simple and Maxwell is right.  Here’s the answer again in case you missed it…Today Matters.  How you spend your day each and every day will determine your future.  You will never get today back again to repeat.

So what will it be?  Watch TV or spend time with your family?  Surf the Internet or think of ways to be productive and help your company advance?  Check Facebook or read your bible?  You see, your day really is yours.  You get to decide how your day will unfold.  Choose wisely because today really does matter.