I took a few days off Facebook and it did me good. i wanted to share with you what I took away as I sought God about it.
FACEBOOK can be used for great good. You can build a business or a ministry there. You can be a force of encouragement and education. If you are ill or disabled, it can offer you a digital social life that can be positive.
But. it can also be used to promote an unhealthy lifestyle, create an addiction and impede what God truly has for us. It gives an artificial filler for voids in our lives. It creates greater longing that can only be met by actually meeting in person and knowing that person. Unmet longings of the emotional nature can create depression, grief, and other illnesses. Psalms tells us that a grieving heart dries up our bones.
God also tells us that met longings do us well, such as a merry heart. A longing heart, deprived of any satisfaction for an extended time only creates sadness. Imagine never seeing your spouse in the real world, but only in the digital one. You would go mad in time or the relationship would end. But, look at the difference of a real life marriage, where our need for love and to give love are met.
It can also introduce us to secular and worldly subjects that will prove detrimental to our spiritual life. God tells us to think about things that are of good report. That one command is hard to do on FB with all the horrific information flashing across our screens. I have to truly monitor what I look at. The brain has no kidney!
You can be anyone you want to on FB. You can appear as one kind of person, but in truth be another. Others may think they know you, but they don't. Does it mean everyone is trying to be deceptive? No! It just may be a way for them to be someone they may actually even desire to be, but have not been able to be in their daily real life. Or, it can truly be a platform to deceive. It's not simple to understand and can get very complex. It can be mind boggling trying to determine who is what. I am very transparent on purpose on FB and that is for a reason. I want the women in the Treasured Woman Community to know what I struggle with. Where I am with God. And that is so they will do the same. I don't share details about people or my family as we all need to be considerate and discrete. But, I share my emotions many times with the hope and prayer that it will encourage another woman who might be feeling the same thing. Rev. 12:11 in action.
Many find old loves and destroy their marriages. They did not enter FB with the full knowledge of the power or danger it holds nor did they have boundaries set up in their marriages to protect it. If they had unmet needs and expectations, they enemy may use FB to bring the temptation that will lead them into sin. It's private and secretive. You can also find new love and have a beautiful ending. It is a "life", but just not a real one. It has all the aspects of life in general, but its critical we make the defining distinction and keep it straight in our heads.
Because I realized how much time I was spending posting to my ministry pages and responding to all the needs, my lack of balance screamed at me. I've stayed away for a few days and I've found I am much more productive in my real life for it. I did this one time before and saw the same thing. Then, I became ill and was in bed for days on end and that led me back to depending on FB for support. I am determined to make sure I keep it in balance this time, so that I can make it work for my life goals and for the Lord no matter what happens in my life. That may mean I just may have to start reading some of my old books over if I end up in bed ill again. I will be ready. Just like coping with any addiction, we need to find replacements for our tendency before the temptation time arrives. And, at some point, as the ministry grows, I will need help to fulfill the needs of that community instead of seeking to do it all on my own. I am sure that is part of God's plan to.
I see some that are truly addicted to it and I don't want that for my life or theirs. Most people who are addicted will not see it. As with most addictions. I am guilty and I know it, but I am changing it. As a passionate person who usually gives 1000% to what I like. I think FB has been the same for me. It would be the same if I drank, therefore I do not drink. I know myself. I know my tendencies and I adjust my life accordingly, setting boundaries in place that will keep me in God's will for my life. He must be the Master of all my life decisions.
.There is real life and there is digital life. If you have not had personal contact with someone, then they are a part of your digital life. You can't say you truly know them for certain. It is a blessing when we do meet and hug the neck of someone we have grown to love. They may truly be who you thought they were. I had that experience in the last two months of 2014 when I got to meet some of the women in my ministry here online. It was wonderful! But, Its not until you are IN THEIR REAL LIFE on a regular basis that you know them. This is how it is with anyone we are just meeting. We must know them. And that takes time. Time needs no truth serum. It is the truth serum.
As with dating online, this digital format allows us to more freely express our hearts as opposed to what we might actually express in person and you create relationship much quicker this way. Thus, if you are dating someone online, it is most prudent to meet them as soon as possible, so that you can see if you do in fact feel the same connection in the real world. .I'm not saying you can't create a real friendship with someone on FB NOR that you cannot sustain a friendship that you have already had in your real life (as I do with many friends I love in Florida), but I am saying until you actually meet and sustain a relationship with someone, seeing them in their every day life, you can't really know them. This is why we have engagement periods before we marry so we can know someone over an extended period of time before we marry. The principle is the same for our digital life. Or it should be.
Having an ministry that has an online presence, I have seen many women find one another on our page then meet in real life and become awesome friends. This is when it works to our advantage. But the danger I'm talking about is when it becomes the bigger part of our life and we avoid building our real life for the sake of spending time on our digital one. I know because since I moved to PA where I have relatively few friends, I began to come to FB for connection and to have my desire for friendship met there. Was that good for me? In some ways, it has benefits, but I realized it also has kept me from actually taking the needed steps to make real life friendships and build connections where I live. I think we can have both if our lives are in balance.
I was blessed to have built a community of AMAZING women here online and to be honest, it has been a blessing. BUT, it has also produced an emotional need within myself that cannot be met without at some point finally meeting those precious women. It can be the glue that allows a community to form, but as any organization leader will tell you, it must come offline in order to truly grow and be a real part of anyone's life. I think Kelly Gore of iBloom is a great example of that. As is Cherie Zack of Imperfect Wives Club. Both have a huge FB presence, both professionally and personally, but they have also taken it off Facebook and created a real life organization. I think Cherie had a real life organization first. Kelly might have too, but I'm not sure. I applaud them both! And I have the same plan for Treasured Woman and I'm asking God for His guidance so that it can be a blessing to more and more women like it has been to me and others. Things will be done in His timing.
I've given this a lot of thought because I feel God wants to make sure I have this in balance and because I do care about you, I'm offering the same thoughts to you. We each must decide. Only we and God will know what the truth really is.
To determine if you might have an issue with Facebook, please answer the following questions truthfully:
1. Do I check my Facebook as part of my first of the morning routine?
2. When I am upset, do I turn to Facebook first to message friends or make a post?
3. If I think I've been done wrong, do I post in response, either directly addressing it or indirectly addressing it in a passive aggressive way?
4. Do I check Facebook before I go to sleep and if I can't, do I feel restless?
5. Do I use Facebook to avoid doing things that I know I need to do?
6. Do I find myself feeling like no one is truly there for me even though I have 3700 friends of Facebook?
7. Instead of calling a friend to meet me for dinner or coffee, do I jump on Facebook instead for emotional connection and friendship?
8. While in the company of others, even in conversation with them, or while doing menial tasks and errands, am I checking Facebook?
9. Do I realize that the time I spend on Facebook could be used to build relationships and business in my real life and not my digital life?
10. Do I have a hard time just letting my mind be silent? No FB. No music. No reading. Just being.
If you answered YES to more than (4) of these questions, its advisable to take a good long look at your digital life and figure out the how it truly affects your real life..
I'm praying this will help make your life better.
Balance, moderation and wisdom are beneficial to creating a rewarding, healthy life. A life glued together on the paper of LOVE for God and His LOVE for us. I offer you my transparency and join you in the struggle.
We must help one another if we say we love. This is not judgement of anyone. It is just a statement of something I feel we must address living in this digital society we do. It has already altered our culture so much even to the point of near destruction of the kind of life that produces good for all. Look at our family dinner time. If we are honest, we will say texting has almost more of a presence than speaking to one another.
We can change it if we choose to.. I hope you will take a good, honest look at where you are in this area and follow what God puts on your heart. I did that this week and I have relayed to you what I feel He showed me. Praying for you!
Treasuring You With His Love,
Karen Jantzi, CPC/CMEC is the Founding President of Treasured Woman and the CEO of HAVEN Coaching and Consulting. She has a passion for helping women find a permanent sense of self-worth and value through living in the authority and love of Jesus Christ in their lives. She has been a business owner and executive for over 20 years and enjoys helping women bring life to their dreams of owning a business. As an author,, blogger and speaker, Karen shares her life changing story with women across the nation with the hope that they too will turn to Christ and live a life they treasure. Karen lives with her husband, is the mother of 5 and enjoys life on the Yough River not too far outside of Pittsburgh. You may contact her at 407-687-5988 or firstname.lastname@example.org