Fight or Flight
Before the internet, life had to be boring. Can you imagine having to survive a whole week without seeing at least one funny cat video? Don’t get me wrong. I do think we need to get outside every day so we aren’t all pasty people from lack of sunlight. That disclaimer being said, the internet is awesome. Without YouTube, we wouldn’t have BlimeyCow, which means we wouldn’t have this incredible example of how to write a worship song. We also wouldn’t have access to the awesome tunes of Ryan Johns right at our fingertips. Go to Ryan John’s album
As great as it is to have access to all your friends and the funniest memes ever, using this tool comes with great responsibility. You probably hear that a lot, but that’s because it’s true. The internet is a little bit like Walmart. The main purpose of Walmart is not bad, but we always remember that there are still some bad things—and even some bad people—at Walmart. The internet is the same. The main purpose of the internet doesn’t conflict with what we believe, and when we use it, we have to be aware that there are some doctrines and content online that are wrong and harmful.
There isn’t a better generation of young people to handle this kind of dedication to God. There will be some battles against doctrines and ideas you would have never been exposed to earlier. But you all know how to fight! You may be in the world, but you’re not of the world. When other people have stood scared about the giants of fear and compromise, you’ve stood up strong for doctrine, holiness, and the truth of His Word. I’d say you were a lot like David.
David was even tougher than the stories tell. One of the most interesting misconceptions about the Bible is that David killed a lion and a bear with his slingshot. It’s not true. While David was probably better at the slingshot than this guy, I Samuel 17:35 tells us he killed a bear and a lion…with his bare hands. He manhandled (or should I say “bear-handled”) two ferocious beasts. Kinda’ reminds me of this kid. David really knew how to fight the enemy. But there was a time David decided not to fight.
After the battle between David and Goliath, everybody was talking about how much greater David was than King Saul. In a fit of anger, Saul grabbed a spear and thrust it at David, who was playing his harp for the king. Saul was an expert marksman, but David’s abilities allowed him to dodge the spear. The story gets interesting here because David COULD have stood up and said to Saul, “Let’s settle this. Right here. Right now.” But he didn’t. David withheld himself from his natural temptation to fight and defend himself. In fact, he didn’t just resist. He RAN because David knew this: it does not make me less of a man when I decide to run away from some fights I shouldn’t be involved in.
You may have some great things going for you, but you had better not think you are mature enough to handle every fight that comes your way. Instead of thinking, “I’m not going to get mad. I’ll just reply to their status. I can handle myself,” maybe you SHOULD be thinking, “I’m sure I could handle myself appropriately, but I’m not going to fight that battle on their Facebook timeline or Twitter feed.”
Let’s get really honest. Have you ever visited a website that wasn’t good for you spiritually? It may not have been horrible, but it’s on the line. And yet, every time you click on your browser window to type in the name of that website, you feel a rush of “I shouldn’t be going here.” But then you calm yourself with the fateful words, “it’s really not a big deal. I can handle it.”
In a culture where reality shows are king, we think everything is a competition. In our minds, lust, anger, and hatred are all enemies we should fight against. That’s completely wrong! When you make it to Heaven, there won’t be a scoreboard of how many times you beat sin. Picking a fight with sin doesn’t make you stronger; it only means you’re fighting with sin longer.
I’m not sure which version of the Bible you read, but in my Bible, I Corinthians 6:18 doesn’t say to “fight fornication;” it says to “flee fornication”. Four chapters later, Paul again emphasizes times when you don’t need to fight. Instead of saying to fight idolatry, he says to flee idolatry.
Some things in technology will tempt you, but you are not a failure because you flee—you are successful! You are not a failure because you delete your Facebook account due to a conviction over some things you struggle with. You haven’t lost the battle against sin if you get an internet filter to keep you from stumbling into sinful areas of the internet.
Understand something: it’s not your job to fight sin. You can spiritually fight false doctrine, compromise, and spirits of this age. But you shouldn’t go toe to toe with sin. Why? Because Christ already fought sin, and HE won! The battle against sin is over!
Jesus is telling this generation, including you, “I fought the fight. Now you run the race.”
I am the husband of an incredible wife and servant of an incredible God. I’m also the founder of @qurate.