Think before you Tweet
by Enoch Kwame Tham-Agyekum
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I sat in a programme and something the speaker said caught my attention and it’s worthwhile if I share such thoughts with you. The speaker posed so many questions and we were left to ponder over them; whether true or false.
Our world has grown and increased in so many aspects especially technology. Technology came to replace a lot of things in our world. It has been found that more and more people are turning to the internet to find personal, social and religious information. It has made our work faster, reliable, easily assessable, more current, quicker etc. but a great question lingers on my mind as to the extent to which the value of technology has taken over completely our devotion with God. Is the internet taking the place of reading and meditating the Bible? I mean the Bible, not the Bible on your mobile phone, laptop or ipad.
Your alarm sounds at 4.30am, what’s the first thing that you do? In days past, we used to take our Bible, pray or thank God for a successful morning. We were so appreciative of God for what He had done in our lives. We spent many minutes and sometimes hours in prayer or in devotion to God. Now that the host of technology has engulfed us, the first point of call in the morning is our mobile phone, the radio, the television or the internet. If you’re anything like me you reach for your phone and immediately check whatsapp, facebook and yahoo. Obsessed with social media? Possibly! The vast majority of us have an online presence. We tweet, update our statuses, send and accept friend requests, upload pictures, create events, send and receive mails etc. but hardly do we have effective times in the presence of God. There is often a part of our life that is affected; it’s either the time spent with God or the time spent on the internet. Can I dare to say that for most of us, the time spent on the internet far exceeds the time we spend in devotion to God.
I want to be the first person to say that in these devices, we can read our Bible, read devotions and listen to preaching. The bane, however, is our reliance on these as a replacement for our Bible. Now in Church, instead of listening to the sermon, you see our people who have the ipads and other ‘better’ phones standing in front and taking live shots. We tweet, facebook and whatsapp while in Church.
The other side of the story is when social media sites become a platform for hatred, racism and abuse. Individuals can hide behind the internet and say what they like. Sometimes, they are funny, offensive or insightful; in this case it can spread like wildfire. People can create fake ‘ids’ on the internet and use that platform to abuse, insult or deceive others. We cannot deceive God by hiding our identity. Galatians 6:3 says, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Why would you deceive yourself into thinking that you are something, meanwhile you are not. Indeed, God is watching what we do behind the screen. We are deceiving ourselves, not God. Before you put something online, think because God is watching.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”. God has power to do more that we can think. So next time you want to do something online, think appropriately because God can act on what is on your mind. For the sake of just updating our status on facebook, I have come across people who write, “I’m sick today, who would take me to the hospital” when there is actually nothing wrong with them. Shortly after writing such, some ‘strange’ sickness hits them. Whom are you going to blame? You can’t blame God. So, Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Think before you tweet is the message. Before you rush to update your status, think. Eight keywords are appropriate in this; honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue and praise worthy. What is more soothing is that before God tweets, he has good thoughts for you. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jer. 29:11). God thought well of you before he tweeted, “…let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26).
Indeed, everything God made is good (Gen. 1:31) but God’s ultimate purpose is for us to have dominion over creation not for creation to take dominion over us. Our lives are more important than facebook, tweeter, whatsapp etc. Let’s live our lives as “the image of God” not His shadow.
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