The computer and the world wide web provide phenomenal opportunities. Connecting with long lost friends, childhood bosom buddies, old teammates, family on the other side of the country or ocean, people from church, and friends from mission trips is now incredibly fast, easy, and cheap. So many hearts have been warmed and so much relational, missional, and transformational good has resulted.
But like dynamite, computers and www can be used for tremendous good or… tremendous evil. As a psychiatrist, whether in the ER, in my outpatient office, or running a rehab program, I frequently see and hear how the internet (email, chat rooms, My Space, FaceBook, Classmates, etc) has contributed to hurtful communication, cyberbullying, and infidelity as well as devastating destruction of relationships and families.
Inappropriate communication with the opposite sex via the internet happens easily because of our fast pace. We have no time to calmly and deeply share with our partners on a daily basis. Internet communication also gives us unparalleled confidence to speak freely because there is no real contact with the other person. We can experiment, re-create ourselves, mislead, and avoid dealing with the hard parts of real relationships.
Before you know it, you are writing things you should never write…with a false sense of privacy as you incorrectly assume that what you write will stay a secret between you and the receiver. You have probably heard the advice that you should not type anything anywhere that you wouldn’t want published in your church bulletin…that you shouldn’t say anything to anyone of the opposite sex that you would not want your spouse to hear you say.
Unfortunately, even though internet affairs have exploded in number, other secret, old-fashioned inappropriate communication falls into the same danger zone. Real relationships are great, but they do take time and work. Taking shortcuts will not only cheat you out of the rewards of relationship, but will also lead to painful consequences.
Today, give some thought to your use of the internet and other perceived “secret” forms of communication. Being secretive or sly is a warning bell that these writings or actions should stop. If you have been writing things you should not, then step back and say, “hold the press.” This isn’t just about writing. Cruising the wrong sites on the internet is another danger.
Dear Father God, I ask and pray that You fill me with Your Holy Spirit to strengthen me. Teach me, Father, to remain faithful and true to those I love. Let not the fear of being caught be the deterrent. Rather let it be the pain and suffering my indiscretions create for You, for my partner…and my own heart, and brain. Above all, let it be the fear of separation from You, and my spiritual harm that direct me to the right path. I pray in the name of the one You sent to dwell in my heart, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.