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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

the internet + holiness BY EMILY

Hi everyone! 
I'm so excited to be posting at Naptime Diaries today! 
Thanks Jessi, for the opportunity to speak to your lovely readers. I'm Emily, an urban church-planter's wife and mama from Montreal and I blog over at {Our Nest In The City}. You can find me on Twitter too, if you like :) I love guest blogging when given the chance, because it allows me to step out of the comfort zone of my own blog (it's themes and style) and into that of another blog. I get the feeling after reading Naptime Diaries for almost four years that Jessi's readers love a big old dose of TRUTH. I know I often read her posts and leave feeling the good kind of conviction and love her boldness to challenge us readers. 

Today, by God's grace, I want to do the same. Something that's been stirring in my heart for the last year or so (whenever I joined Pinterest, basically) is our perpetual tendency to find scapegoats, heap all of our self blame and responsibility on them, and then feel a whole lot of justification even when nothings been dealt with in the deep down cavities of our hearts. Or maybe it's just me? Let me explain. In the Old Testament a scapegoat was something the people figuratively tossed their sins on, and then the goat took the blame for said sins, and people were restored to right relationship with God. Of course, that was just a glimpse of what was to come in Christ - how he would ultimately take our sins on himself and forever bring us into proper relationship with the Father. But today, I still see Christian women (myself included) using scapegoats instead of the Lamb, and it's done ever so casually that we hardly see it. We heap blame on things instead of looking at our own sin and recalling the truth that it's already been thrown on Christ. 

This may sound trite, but I see people using Pinterest and Blogs as a scapegoat for their sins of jealousy, ingratitude, and discontent. So often online, I see ladies (maybe half joking, I can't always tell) say they hate Pinterest because it makes them lust after things they can't have, or how they can't stand blogs because they make them feel badly about their own lives. And I just want to say, to myself and to you, that Pinterest and blogs are not the problem. Our wicked wicked hearts are the problem, and they always have been. Pinterest and blogs aren't guilty for our sins and we can't keep blaming those outlets. If they cause us to sin, it's right and good to set up boundaries to make sure we don't stumble when using those forms of social media, but I repeat, our hearts are the problem. Our hearts are deceitful and can lead us astray, but they've been leading women astray since the beginning of time! Long before social media existed.   

May I humbly suggest that if Pinterest or blogs cause you to sin, that you quickly stop using them, or set up boundaries with them immediately? But alongside that, we must recognize above all that they're not the problem, ultimately. We are to blame for our waywardness, discontent, and covetousness. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Some practical tips to surviving the Internet in holiness
1. Scroll through your blog list. If any blogs cause you to sin, ask yourself why. If it's their blogging style (do they brag about things? Do they condemn you, the reader?), then it might be a blog you should stop following. If it's simply a heart issue, consider taking a break from that blog for a season and begin reading again after you've seen some victory. 

2. If Pinterest causes you to lust or covet, stop follow boards and just pin! I've only ever used Pinterest as a search engine and personal pin board and don't follow anyone. It's a great place to collect my thoughts, ideas, and inspiration, but that's all it is for me. 

3. Make sure you're limiting your time online. No matter how Godly the blogs are, there is such a thing as too much. Plus, Christian blogs are not a substitute for Christian community, God's Word, or studying theology. I can't tell you how much time is "too much", that's for you to pray over and discern. For me, my max for writing + reading blogs is 1 hr/day, but I aim for less than that. 

4. Find life-giving people online and follow them on twitter and in the blogosphere. On top of my friends and favourite bloggers, I follow theologians and pastors because their tweets and posts always bring me back to the Gospel. I'd love to suggest some, so ask me if you're interested! 

5. Confess, Repent, Love the Gospel. If you do find yourself in sin due to blogs or Pinterest or anything else online, confess it to God, repent of your sins, and enjoy the freedom or grace that the gospel affords. 

That's all I have for today! Feel free to visit me over at {Our Nest In The City} anytime! I hope you're all enjoying wisdom and grace as you likewise, enjoy the Internet!


Morgan said...

So encouraged this! I often feel the same frustrations about the complaints of discontentment. When my husband and I did our "no spend January" last month one of the things I was intentional about was staying off Pinterest, it can be helpful but mostly I find it creates discontentment within our hearts. Thanks for the gospel reminder!

Alesha said...

This was SO good! It is the intensely theological (which I LOVE) version of a really heartfelt post I wrote for tomorrow. Thank you for your truth, simplicity and sincerity in writing this! I say it...I'm not even totally sure if you (or just Jessi) will be reading this. Either way, I'm heading to your blog. =)
Alesha <3