The last few years have seen an explosion of what are called “social networking Internet sites”. They have allowed people to reconnect who haven’t seen each other in a long time; they have provided bulletin boards for high school and college reunions, become modern society’s photo albums and, in general, given the average person a place to vent. Another thing that has sprung up on these networks has begun to trouble me. It’s the frequent invitations that I am sent to join in different causes being sponsored by members or friends.
I admit many of the causes are silly or even done in jest. As I have been asked to join a cause that promotes hugs, and even one that encourages bad singers to sing really loud, but it’s the causes and sites that have legitimate issues that are being addressed that worry me.
Some of you might ask, “Why?” Isn’t addressing the issues and injustice something you frequently talk about? Isn’t this raising awareness? Doesn’t that mean as a world we are becoming more engaged and even more importantly follow Biblical commandments? Isn’t that a good thing? I would without reservation say yes if I thought that awareness and action were one in the same.
The Internet has become a solitary world where people can say and do so much without consequence. The evils of this world have been well documented, but I wonder if we’ve taken into consideration how easily we can disconnect from what is important by pushing a button, appeasing our conscience, and moving on.
The Bible tells us to be a doer of the Word, not just one who hears it. But is this new world of communication helping us or hindering this purpose? We can mostly all agree that our causes have value. Who among us thinks that feeding the hungry, stopping social injustice and providing for the poor is important? I hope all of you. These things are not something that we need emotional appeasement in, but we need Godly conviction to get up and act.
Simply joining is not enough. A cause most cost you something before it’s truly a cause. Did, it cost you money, time or even better yet such deep emotional turmoil that you cried out to God for a way to make a difference. I’m afraid that once again Satan has found one more way to deceive us into thinking we are doing something when in truth we are just pushing buttons, joining causes that have no legs, and patting ourselves on the back at how involved we are.
To be engaged will cost you. There are millions of needs, and many good causes …but you must pray and ask God where you belong. There are a lot of things I say no to; sometimes with a heavy heart. But I want to maximize what time I have.
The bottom line is – stop joining causes on the Internet and connect with real people who are meeting real needs. You might find a friend that’s more than a 2 dimensional picture on a monitor….they might be a real living, breathing person…just like you.