The ANTIsocial Network?

phone people

 

There are multiple social networks out there: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. They are great ways to keep connected with friends and family and to reconnect with those you have lost touch with over the years. But, the thing that gets me is the way that so many use those venues as ways to discuss various topics and for some to show off a little bit. A little is fine but some get so engrossed in being connected and making sure everyone knows everything they are doing, from pictures of their family, vacations, food and even things that are pretty insignificant some feel the need to make sure everyone knows all about them. I have always been a more private person and never really liked getting tons of attention and I don’t understand the need some have for attention. Oh, I have shared pictures from vacation and a few special events, but not like a lot do. There are some that go to such extremes to show everything great in their lives that nothing is personal anymore. A few thoughts always come to mind and one is, what is it they are not showing? Are they trying hard to show a life that doesn’t really exist or is markedly different than what they show? Like most anything I see online, I take all those things with a grain of salt.

But, besides those things, what amazes me even more is the way some people seem to develop a sense that just because they can do something or post something they do, whether it is right or wrong; whether it be an opinion that is likely to be offensive to a lot of people and likely to generate significant responses, some positive, some negative; criticism of others, at times extremely harsh and frequently inaccurate or down right false; try to spread hate of individuals or groups; or in other ways post things that cause hurt to others. I don’t know if they who do such things do so just to get attention, even if it is negative attention or if it really is to try to spread hate. What motivates them to do those things? I know it isn’t Biblical to try to generate animosity amongst people or towards people.

13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
14 Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.

Proverbs 11:13-14

 

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain.  James 1:26

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  Ephesians 4:29

Some will speak with such wrath, hate and harshness with nothing but ill intent. Others will use it to try to show or in ways tell others, that they are better than the ones that read their posts. Saying things to belittle others. Yet, if others respond to those postings, voicing some sort of disagreement with what was said, the one that posted the hateful comments suddenly takes offense. It amazes me that some see the social networks as places to say and do whatever they want, with the attitude that others must accept what they say, agree with them and if they do not, they become angry and upset. They live a life online that is somehow, in their minds, permissible to behave differently than would be considered acceptable if all involved were all together in one location. It also amazes me how they think it is perfectly acceptable for them to say whatever they wish, but take offense when others do the same thing. I have seen people get so MAD at what people say that I thought they were going to have a stroke or something.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  Matthew 7:12

Of course, there are also they who replace human interaction with the social networking. I have seen people at restaurants who order, eat and leave and hardly say a word to one another because they were too busy writing or reading something on Facebook.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  Hebrews 10:25

I am not saying that any of the social media platforms are bad, they do a lot of good and like many things in the world, the way things are utilized can be either good or bad. But, the way so many have used it to, what appears to me, intentionally create turmoil and ill will amongst others or to replace true human interaction that it more and more is an ANTIsocial network. Like many things, it can be used for good or bad, one must make the choice of how they use it.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all Your blessings to me. I thank You for reminding me that something that can be good, can also be bad and that actions and words that are possibly hurtful towards others should not be spoken and that posting hate filled, antagonistic comments is as bad as speaking ill of others and that we should instead only post things publicly that help others. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help us use our interactions with others, whether in person or online, to only say things that serve to build them up and glorify You. I ask that You draw us all to You so we can all serve You and enjoy the salvation that is made available to us through the sacrifice Christ made on the cross and when He defeated death for us when He was resurrected.

Amen

 

I hope all have a blessed day and are having a wonderful weekend. And, that you are able to be a blessing to someone else too.

 

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Ignorance

Ignorant

 

I have heard the phrase ignorance is bliss pretty much my whole life. The other day someone made a statement about someone being ignorant and in the context used it meant that the person had no knowledge about a particular matter and that is a correct way to use the word. It doesn’t mean a person is stupid, but rather, uneducated or uniformed about a particular matter. But, hearing it got me to thinking, and why I didn’t think of it before, ignore is the root word from which ignorant is derived. (Yeah, I know….a definite Captain Obvious moment.) While ignorant does mean uneducated, but since it contained ignore I wondered if there was more to the meaning. So, I looked into it and in addition to meaning uninformed it also means to deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts. So, ignorance isn’t simply not knowing, it is more importantly knowing and not using the information you know.

Thinking about that, I wonder how many people that claim to be Christian, or maybe they don’t claim to be but they were raised as Christians, that go about their lives ignoring God’s commandments or in other ways sinning. I wonder how much worse it is to KNOW the truth, but to ignore it. Pretending what one does is fine and not offensive to God. How many Christians know what God wants, but still do something different, perhaps not sinning exactly, but having God speak to their hearts so they know what He wants from them, but ignore it and do what they want to do. I will admit, that has been me a lot of times; knowing exactly what He wants me to do but not do it. Not actually committing a sin but still not following His plans for me. Of course, there are times I have known He didn’t want me to do something and did it anyway. I’m not talking about sinning, but instead when given options there are times I have KNOWN which He wanted me to do, but doing the other. This is in regards to many facets of my life where I didn’t sin, but ignored what I could feel God wanted me to do and ignored that, taking the path He didn’t want me to take. He didn’t punish me, but He didn’t bless me as He would have if I had listened. Choosing one option when there is no doubt that God has something better planned for me if I follow His guidance. BUT, I am sometimes headstrong and stubborn. Good thing for me He is forgiving and merciful.

I know I am not alone in doing such things. I have seen many Christians that during conversations they have told me things they felt God trying to do with them, for them, yet they don’t do what He wants. Many take a path that God does not want them to take and they know it, they ignore God’s plan and make up their own. I know that no matter what happens, they won’t be blessed the same as if they had not ignored God.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.   Hosea 4:6

Here, He talks about His people rejecting knowledge, that sounds to me like they actually KNEW but turned their back on His laws.  They ignored what they knew.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
33 So Paul departed from among them.

Acts 17:30-33

Now we see that God, while He may not like ignorance (the not knowing kind,) He tolerated it, but as it says, He has given the message to repent and provided a way to do so, to be forgiven of our sins and when told about it, they rejected (or ignored) the knowledge they were given.

24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Proverbs 1:24-30

Obviously, God does not want us to ignore Him or His will. Yet, people have not really changed since the Old Testament.

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the blessings that You give me. I thank You for my salvation through the sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the cross. I thank You that my ignorance of You and Your plan for me did not cause You to turn Your back on me, even though that is what I deserved. I worship my Lord that is patient, merciful and graceful, who loves me so much He allows me to be ignorant, but then when I do finally listen He blesses me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me not be ignorant of your will or way, teach me so I have the knowledge and help me not be so foolish as to ignore You. I ask that You help me better learn Your will and way for me and help me better have the mind of Christ. I pray that You draw me, my loved ones and all others to You that we have the forgiveness and salvation that You offer us all.

Amen

 

I hope all have a wonderfully blessed day and that you have a chance to bless someone along the way.

I walked into a pole!

pole

 

 

I was at the market yesterday to pick up a few things. While I was there, I saw some teenagers there doing whatever teenagers do. One was messing with his cell phone and not watching where he was going. One of his friend started to say “WATCH OUT!” but all he got out was “WAT” and POW, the kid on his phone walked right into a DVD display. It went crashing down as did he, scattering the DVD’s everywhere, him on top of the mess. That reminded me of a time when I was in High School, probably 15 or 16 years old at the time. I was hanging out at the mall with some buddies and as we were pretending to act busy and important, but actually hoping to meet some girls, I saw some girls about our age, doing about the same. I got distracted, she was cute, smiled at me and as I was about to try to get brave enough to go talk to her my friends started saying things like “Hey man” “Dude” but I ignored them, one made an odd sound and as I tried to turn towards him, POW, right into one of those concrete poles or pillar, whatever  you call it. Ummmm, what just happened? I didn’t get knocked out, but wow, did it humble and embarrass me. My buddies were laughing, the girl and her friends were too. Well, that wasn’t expected……or was it?

I hate to admit it, but I have possibly done things like that on more occasions than I care to admit, walking in the woods and get distracted and step into a hole or walk into a tree, other times walk straight into a door, and other similar things. WHY does that happen? Well, I get distracted or I fail to listen closely when someone tries to warn me about something and due to that, I get lumps, bumps, bruises, my ego gets hit hard too. It is pretty hard to look like a cool guy after you face plant into a pillar.  I have had friends do the same thing, be distracted and not listen when we first try to warn them and suffer the consequences. And, other times, kids being kids, sometimes people on either side of one of us would slowly steer us towards a pillar or sometimes in stores, displays of some sort, just to see what would happen. I have had that occur to me, and to my discredit, been on of those trying to get someone to walk into something. Kids are not always kind to even their friends. Honestly, adults aren’t always that kind either. Anytime it happens, there is always laughter as well as someone asking if whoever just did that is ok.

There are often warning signs in other areas that sometimes we heed, sometimes we don’t. I have one co-worker that is slow and not bad at her job, but lower quality work than others of the same education and level of licensure. Some of those in charge noticed it, but instead of acting on the warning signs, attributed it to being new at that location so no action was taken. It was compounded a few weeks later when there were marked issues that were being looked into regarding productivity and quality of care she provided. But, she had made friends with someone at the top of the chain at our facility so they refused to even take time to objectively review the information they were given. Instead, they let personal opinion sway a professional review and immediately terminated the evaluation that was being completed. This went on for several months and at this facility, within 6 months of start date they can terminate the employee without too much difficulty. But, if they fail to do so, the person becomes considered permanent and the process is 100 fold more complicated. Due to the senior officers failure to objectively review what was there and make the proper determination based on evidence instead of feelings the facility and the area in which the employee works  are having complications from that failure to act properly when the concern was first noticed. The facility essentially walked into a pole because of one person’s failure to listen and heed the warnings.

Relationships are another tricky area. I have been married for quite some time, and while I hate to admit it, it was never the type of marriage relationship I thought it should be for people. There were warning signs, at first, some were there, but subtle, and they began to be more obvious. Different things I saw that SHOULD have been huge warnings that I ignored. Various acts, which I harped about for a while, but then, finally realized it wasn’t the individual acts, it was the attitude behind the actions. Essentially, she made herself and her wants her number one priority, then second was pleasing others, then maybe me. Had it only been God in front of me, I would not have been bothered, but God was and is a lower priority than I. Like I said, at first any fights were about individual acts, but, eventually I saw that it wasn’t the acts, well, somewhat, but the mindset was the real problem, since the acts were derived from that. Oh, I am not pretending to be blameless, no one in a relationship is perfect and the blame is never all one’s burden. But, had I been alert, paying attention to the warning signs as I should have done, I would not face some of the issues that I face now.

That happens in our spiritual life as well. We can get distracted by events in life, we don’t pay attention to all that is going on around us, we get somewhat oblivious to surroundings and other circumstances and events to which we should be paying heed. We don’t watch for warnings that should tell us of approaching problems. In the case of the pole, there was a different color to the flooring as well as a different texture, I should have noticed those, even if I didn’t notice the pillar. But, I was distracted, I was not watching where my path was taking me. I headed straight into harm’s way. As I said, there are always warning signs spiritually. There are indicators that something is not as it should be, the trick is being sensitive enough to watch for those signs and to respond when we do notice them.

I had written previously about slowly drifting away from God. Work, school, family, all those things played into things that made it more difficult, well, no I should say less easy, to find times to pray and seek Christ. I started having one thing and another occur that should have given warning, but I didn’t pay attention. My Christian walk was slowing, and then stopped. Even then, warning signs that I needed to get back to God that I failed to heed. Issues at home, work, with family, school, recreational time such as fishing, golf, etc can all be cause of complications with spiritual life. Warning signs that one’s priorities are not as they should be, that they are drifting from the right path, that they are going to run into a pole spiritually because of those, or many other, factors. All should have had warning signs, failure to be alert for them, failure to be sensitive to His way for us. He puts convictions in our hearts, reminders one way or the other that we are letting Him down, and by doing so, hurting ourselves. God tries to warn us, sometimes we are too hard headed to listen. I have been just that way. I felt the convictions from Christ about not being in church or praying like I should have, but I justified it as it was needful to work to support my family, I needed to complete college so I could get into medical school, I had to work hard there to get a good residency and be a good doctor, I had to work hard at residency and had so much call that I had to do that I couldn’t make time, etc, etc. Excuses are easy to find, but most are not valid and those using them know they aren’t good justification. I know I knew they were not reasons, but only excuses and, my spiritual life suffered from that.

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.        Jeremiah 6:10

 

4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

Ezekial 33:4-5

 

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Colossians 1:27-29

 

Yes, He gives warnings, of spiritual dangers and consequences of failure to heed those warnings. God also gives warning of failure to listen to the truth of Christ as the Redeemer through whom we have forgiveness of our sins and salvation from eternal death but that we may have life through and with Christ.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for the blessings You give me. For the sacrifice made by Your Son, Jesus that gave me salvation and forgiveness. I pray in Jesus name that You help me see warning signs in the future to help me avoid problems in life and especially in my spiritual walk. Help me walk with Christ as I should, help me seek Jesus. I ask that You continue to help me better serve You. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones and others that You give them better understanding to help them avoid difficulties in their spiritual walks as well. I ask that You draw those who believe closer and the unsaved, draw them to You that they will have salvation as well. Give us all guidance on Your will and way in our lives.

Amen

 

I do appreciate everyone bearing with me as go about my life, trying to find areas I need to improve upon and I do pray my insight for my life helps someone else as well as for blessings for all. Do try to be a blessing to others as well.