Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Question and Answer

Today’s psychological question is as follows:

How has social networking changed the way people meet their “need to belong”? How has it benefitted us? How is it harming us?

As a homeschooler, I don't go to public school every day and meet my friends face to face. In fact, a lot of my really good friends live out of state, and at least one of them lives out of country. Chatting and emailing are two of the quickest ways to keep in touch with them. Facebook and Google+ are fun ways to keep updated on what they are up to every day. Ok, I want some confessions from you all: How many of you actually call your friends (and I don't mean a quick call to tell them that you'll meet them next weekend to go shopping) to have nice, long friendly chats with them? Probably some of you do. But how about this one: How many of you still sit down and write personal letters (and I'm talking about with a pen and real paper, mailing it with the USPS) to your friends or relatives? I do still write an occasional "snail mail" letter, and I even fall back on the "old fashioned" phone call every now and then, but I'll admit that all the social networks out there make it a whole lot faster to keep in touch with my distant (and close) friends.
But the question remains as to whether these social networks are actually making us more social or less social.... Have you ever been so glued to your computer (iPod, phone, etc.) on some social connection that you haven't noticed what was going on around you in your house (school, library, church?, etc.)? Come on, 'fess up! It's happened to me! Have you ever been so engrossed in communicating with the friends that are not with you that you have neglected to socialize with your family, the friends right around you, or (here's the convicting one) perhaps even God? 
I think it would be good for us all to sit back and analyze our priorities. Friends are definitely important! But are they more important that your family--your parents, brothers, and sisters? Would you rather text your friends than talk with your family? Would you rather play an online game with your friends than play with your siblings? Invest in your family, take time to socialize with them, and make them your best friends! And what about your heavenly Father? Can the hours fly by when you're on Facebook (Google+, Twitter, etc.), and yet the minutes drag when you read your Bible? Do you find it easier to text or Skype your friends than pray to your Best Friend? I want to challenge us all (myself included, because I could probably answer "yes" to all these questions at some point or other) to decide who is most important to us. Who comes first? God should! What about second? Our family should. And lastly we shouldn't forget our friends. But let's not spend so much time socializing with them that we become unsociable to those who are most important to us!


Monday, November 5, 2012

A New Perspective

Dear reader:

Want to change your whole perspective on life? Then, first, let me ask you what the purpose of your life is.... I hope that all of you will answer that it is to bring glory and honor to God and further the gospel. If this is your answer, then you are absolutely right, for the Bible says "whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31, emphasis added).

Well, then, let me ask you another question: What are the purposes of eating, sleeping, education, marriage, your vocation, and all the other aspects of life? Here is where we find varied answers. Some will say that the purpose of eating to satisfy the stomach's hunger, and others will answer that the purpose of sleeping is for re-energizing the body. Some will say that the purpose of education is a means for obtaining a more advanced job, and still others will inform you that the purpose of your vocation is to earn a living and support yourself. Still others will state that the purpose of marriage is to unite two lovers and raise a family. And in some respects this is all true.

But what is the bigger picture? If we are to do all to the glory of God, wouldn't that include every aspect of life? What if we were to make the purpose of eating, sleeping, education, marriage, our vocations, and so on to be to give glory to God and further the spreading of the gospel? How would be do this? The answer is actually simple: Instead of eating and sleeping for pleasure only, instead engage in the necessary amount that will restore the body's faculties and give you the strength to carry on God's work. And what about education and vocation? Well, gain an education, not with the focus of getting a money-making job, but with the focus of being better equipped to serve the Lord where He has called you. What about friendships and marriage? Instead of socializing with friends or marrying just for your own pleasure, let your friendships be about encouraging one another spiritually, and your marriage be to closer unite you with someone who has the same calling as you do in order to better serve the Lord together.

It gives a  whole new perspective to life, doesn't it!

"Do all to the glory of God."
Note: Give yourself a reality check. Examine your life and see if there are any areas that you have the wrong perspective on. Are your purposes for doing all your activities to honor God and reach out to others? Or are you engaging in activities that are merely for your own pleasure and gratification? If so, perhaps you need to change your perspective about the purpose of those activities, or perhaps you need to disengage from activities altogether.... Think about it.... Pray about it....