Personal Spiritual Growth

Honour while Online

Caroline Wandia

The curfew has brought with it a lot of good but on the flip side, a dark side. The whole world comes under the umbrella of a small village called the internet. Almost everything is just a click away. Personally I am spending a lot of time online and this April month, a few good things happened to me, but that is a story for another day. I will keep you posted.

The social media has kept people busy. Some have used it for good, say, checking on their loved ones, marketing products, building a following for their blogs, attending to customers’ concerns, pastors teaching the word and giving encouragement, couples seeking information on how to spice their relationship, children getting online study material… the list is endless.

Man X, who is married, meets lady Y online. They get past the introductions. As the days go by, they soon realise that they have developed a liking for each other. They have changed the passwords of their phones to a pattern of a maze! Commonly used words in their chats include “I have grown fond of you”, “I think about you a lot”, “I can’t wait for us to talk”, “I can’t sleep without thinking about you”, “I don’t care what my spouse thinks”, “I cannot deny what I feel for you” and eventually it will lead to “I think I am falling in love with you”, “Can we meet?” No curfew can suffice to separate the two. Does that sound familiar to you: emotional infidelity? I know it does. Allow me to call it as it is: SIN. James 4:17 – “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” The two know it is wrong.

Apostle Paul had an encounter with God that changed His life. Despite being a missionary, he wrote about the struggle with sinful desires. Romans 7: “15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

These verses describe experiences of any Christian struggling against sin or trying to please God by keeping rules and laws without the Holy Spirit’s help. Man X and Lady Y, by their own strength, cannot overcome this emotional infidelity they are tangled in.

In this season where we are spending a lot of time online, some of us have gotten tangled in sin. The question is: how do we get out of its control? Before we believed in Christ, our nature was evil. We disobeyed, rebelled against God. However, a Christian has a new nature. God has crucified the old rebellious nature. The penalty of sin died with Christ on the cross. God has declared us not guilty and we no longer live under sin’s power. Since we will still sin, the difference now will be that before we were slaves to our sinful nature but now we are free to live for Christ.

For Man X and Lady Y, to get this new nature, they need to accept Christ today. They further need to confess and ask God for forgiveness of their sins. Each needs a confidant, one who can patiently listen to their failures and lovingly offer redemptive counsel. Practice discipline with the phone. Personally I switch off my phone. I like to read a book or the Bible and play a slow worship song to slow my mind.

It is worth a try, isn’t it?

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