A web of wisdom: social media to the glory of God #2

Following on from part one, in which I suggested that, as with so much else, we should ask the question, "How may I use social media to the glory of God?" Here are the first two principles:

1. Know and watch and guard your heart, cultivating the fear of the Lord.
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prv 1.7)
  • Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Prv 4.23)
  • The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. (Prv 15.3)
  • Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men. (Prv 15.11)
  • All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. (Prv 16.2)
  • In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil. (Prv 16.6)
  • The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. (Prv 16.23)
  • Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. (Prv 21.2)
  • My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice - indeed, I myself; yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak right things. (Prv 23.15-16)
  • Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross. (Prv 26.23)
  • As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals the man. (Prv 27.19)
  • He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered. (Prv 28.26)

All true religion is heart religion. As with so much else, this is a matter of setting the heart right and knowing the heart. Are you, fundamentally, seeking the glory of God? What you see and what you say, your desires and appetites, what you pursue and what you avoid, must be governed by the fear of the Lord. This righteous fear - sown throughout our Bibles, as much a part of our spirituality under the new covenant as it ever was under the old, perhaps even more so - involves a recognition of God's existence, the consideration that he knows our ways, the acknowledgement of his righteousness, the consciousness of his eye upon us, and the burning love that issues in a desire from the depths of our being to please him in all things, regardless of the opinions of men. This is vital, because one of the tricks of social media is so to distance the audience as to make us forget that what we say and do is being broadcast, sometimes for anyone who wishes to tune in. This spirit makes us conscious that there is always one pure and holy eye upon us. With a heart tuned to the desires and delights of God, we shall begin to be equipped to assess our engagement and to fashion it in a way that honours him. If our heart is turned away from God, if the centre of our being is not conditioned by the fear of the Lord, then the whole life - not just our online life - will be fatally compromised.

2. Seek wisdom.
  • My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk uprightly; he guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths; to deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words, who forsakes the companion of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God. (Prv 2.1-17)
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Prv 3.5-8)
  • Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors: "To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. . . . Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favour from the Lord; but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death." (Prv 8.1-36)

The fear of the Lord is the chief part, the foundational element, the controlling core of wisdom. You are not wise if you are not fearing God. The best simple definition of wisdom I know is that is it is "skill for righteous living." So taking that into account, we must ask for and cultivate godly wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (Jas 1.5). God has not abandoned us to this or any other sphere of life without light from heaven. If we do not know whether or not we can, or how we might, glorify God in this environment, let us ask God to show us, that we might "fear the Lord and depart from evil." Wisdom is found in the Scriptures illuminated by the Holy Spirit:
I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.
I have not departed from your judgments, for you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps 119.101-105)
You cannot walk rightly in this matter or any other without heavenly wisdom, and it is both given by God and to be nurtured by men. All we need is available to us.

Further principles to follow . . .