My Mom (bless her heart) used to always yell something up to me when I was a teenager, locked in my room for hours on end, spending the summer staring at the sacred screen.
“Matthew! Two letters – T.W.!!”
TW is my Mom’s hipster lingo for “Time-Waster.”
She meant things like Facebook, Twitter, news sites, random and pointless research on the inerrant Wikipedia, the occasional computer game, or any other digital media that I worshiped at the keyboard altar.
Technology is awesome. But technology can be killer. It can waste your life. It can rot your life.
Porn. Arranging hook-ups online. Viewing garbage on social media. Pumping ego on your post. Demonizing people with every tweet. Creating enemies or shallow relationships.
I love digital media. But its a beast to be tamed, though it often looks like a kitty-cat. And Satan can often use it as his mighty steed to blaze into our hearts and try to knock the King out.
How do we fight against him? How do we stop the digital rot?
Thank goodness, it’s not by moving to Amish country.
The way to conquer TWs is to focus on one other letter – F.
There’s no way around this. Let me be abundantly clear – a filter is a necessity in our modern world. If you desire to raise a godly family or be a godly person, you MUST have a filter on every computer and smart phone and tablet in your house or in your possession.
You may think your children would never have a problem with it, but why take the risk? You may think you’re strong enough, but we’re talking about your very soul in danger! You may think filters are inconvenient, but we’ve gotta remember that Christ has not called us to comfort. He called us to be willing to even cut off our hand to destroy sin.
It’s simply not worth the risk.
The two filters I’ve used are K9 Web Protection – which is free! – and Covenant Eyes, which is a little better, but costs. Either work well for stopping access to immorality. Or they can even be used to stop access to fine sites that you spend too much time on – you can take a Facebook fast by blocking it in your filter or take a break from negative news by blocking all news sites.
The Bible has a lot to say about accountability and transparency. “Confess your faults to one another,” says James. Each one of us should have a friend OUTSIDE our family that we can be accountable to. I’ve been blessed to have several of these in my life. I text them throughout the week, asking how they are doing. And they text me at random times, checking up on how I am doing. We can be honest with each other, because we’ve built a relationship of love, respect, and honesty.
There are few greater blessings in life than a friend that you can be honest with. Especially in your use of digital tech. Even better, you can put them as your accountability partner on your filter (Covenant Eyes does this well) and they’ll get an email from your filter if you view something inappropriate.
Use fire to fight fire. Use good technology to fight against bad uses of technology. Speaking of fire…
I just had to have a third “f,” okay?
Sometimes you just have to get rid of stuff!
Jesus says that if our eye offends us, pluck it out! Perhaps a modern adaption might say that if our iPad offends us – smash it! If our Facebook causes us to sin incessantly, DELETE IT with all the passion you can muster!
There will be casualties in our fight against sin – either you or the form of technology that causes you to sin. Choose to fight. Choose to war.
Choose to win.
Or choose to spend your time on TWs. Choose to rot your soul.
It’s up to you.