What if you had to identify yourself when writing, blogging, or commenting online?What if when you pushed a button on Facebook, or Tinder, or whatever other popular internet site that is ‘in’ at any given moment, and a source immediately identified you as reading or going to different sites that you visit–and thereby tacitly agree with?
Would we be ashamed? Would we feel as free to read the hatred some people spew? Would we want others to know this about ourselves?
Do we lose the best part of ourselves by the internet allowing us the ability to remain unknown? Why do people enjoy being ‘on’ the net? Often it is because they can pretend to be what they are not rather than who we really are.
There is a false sense of complacency in hiding behind a mask–whether it be a paper machie type, make-up, or online identity. In hiding ourselves, we believe we can get away with stuff we wouldn’t dream of actually doing or saying if we had to stand in the open.
We have become fixated on the prospect: No one will know.
We believe we can write what we want; say what we want; do what we want…with no consequences.
In the beginning God asked us to obey Him and keep His commandments by refraining from eating from one tree. In no time, Satan persuaded us by simply tempting us with two points: “God is jealous of YOU. If you eat this, you will be like Him.” And “No one will know.”
When I was young, my mother taught me this quote from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated by Edward FitzGerald: “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.”
She used this to teach me not only the importance of the words that I say and write, but also the importance of understanding one must truly stop to think before acting–as once an emotion is acted upon it cannot be erased.
One of the dangers of using the internet is that we are swayed by the IMMEDIACY it provides. Something angers you? Go rant about it. You are tempted by lust? You have an immediate entry way into fulfilling your desire. Want to pretend you are single when you are really married? Disguise yourself online and go to a site where you can find a date to ‘hook up’ with someone.
The word of God gives us a clear understanding and structure as to how we think about what we hide.
Ecclesiastes 12:14-For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.
Jesus, himself, instructs us specifically as to what we may believe is hidden.
Luke 8:17-For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither [any thing] hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Luke 12:23-Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
The internet allows us to give way to our innermost thoughts, desires, and emotions. In some ways, this technical innovation has become much like a great big diary. It has also, however, become a huge platform for spreading evil.
Using a fake name or tag might allow us to believe we can say and do anything we like on the net…but be forewarned GOD IS TAKING NOTES. What we do will one day be ‘reviewed’ by the judge of all things.
Take a moment today to review what you keep hidden; what you write, say, and do. If there are areas where you would be ashamed to have your identity known; if the devil is whispering “No one will know” in your ear; then maybe it is time to ask for forgiveness.
We all fall prey to anger and stupidity–making mistakes and doing things of which we are not proud. We all face times when we are full of high emotions that lead us to make assumptions and decisions that are hazardous.
Begin the tough work today in changing your attitude so that you can wait until you are positive that what you say and do will stand before God should your ‘hidden’ identity be revealed…..