Permissible vs. Beneficial

This idea has been rolling around in my head for a few days now and I’ve really been pulled to evaluate both myself and my “things”. As a person with choice, I am permitted to do whatever I want, but that can certainly have harmful consequences. Even the unintended ones. As a follower of Christ, I need to look at what I’m doing and see what the benefit of it is.

The biggest thing in my life right now that comes to mind is my facebook account. This site feeds my narcissistic side. I keep telling myself, and others, that I have facebook to keep up with other people and this is partly true. There are people who I would not know anything about if it weren’t for this site. However, I have to seek the truth. Am I on facebook to keep up with other people or so that other people can keep up with me? What kinds of things am I posting? How often am I posting? Are others engaging with me? I have found that MOST things I post are intended for a specific audience – running posts intended for running friends, etc. I also have to ask, is this information NECESSARY for others to know? Does it benefit 90-some people in any way to know that I’m thinking about training for a marathon? Or that I’m baking a pumpkin pie? I know that I can group people and have posts only show to certain people, but thinking that way, I feel like I’m investing even more time in something that DOESN’T REALLY MATTER.

I’ve never been one to jump on bandwagons and get the newest, greatest thing. That’s not because I’m some super saint with super self-control, either. I’m anti-hype. If it’s cool, I don’t want it. iPhone? No thanks. Kindle? Rather not. LinkedIn or Google+ or whatever the newest sites are? Pass. Rebecca Black? Still haven’t heard Friday. Probably won’t. Heck, it’s only been in the past month or two that I’ve seen Inception and even then, I wasn’t too keen on watching it (though it turned out to be a really cool movie). I also have a tendency to make RASH decisions. I’m trying to think things through more these days. Hence, why I still have a facebook account and it hasn’t been deactivated yet. I really want to think this stuff through before I decide to act. I’ve been told that’s what wise people do.

I want to be wise. I want to be considered a wise person. However, I don’t think that is what is driving me to evaluate these junk things I have in my life and decide whether they are important enough to keep around. I really feel like I need to simplify and limit where I waste my time. Facebook? Total waste, though it produces an occasional smile. Blogging? Not a waste of time. Gaming? Not, especially when James and I are playing together. When I look at these things, the ones that feed that narcissism are the ones that are the biggest waste of my time and energy. I can log off facebook for DAYS and nothing happens and I feel disappointed. WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS TO MYSELF?! I feel the same way about these other sites that people constantly want me to join, like LinkedIn. I don’t know what it is  and I certainly don’t need another website to have to check and be disappointed by. I think it’s something like business networking, which again, I don’t feel the need to do. Call me dumb or short-sighted, but I just don’t want to do it.

I’m trying to kill that little narcissistic beast that lives inside of me. I know that the best will never be dead, but I want it at least starving and dying from lack of attention. Narcissism breeds selfishness, which in turn breeds precisely the kind of person I do not want to be. I want to be helpful and selfless (in a healthy way, don’t worry). I want to be dependable and trustworthy. I want people to trust me and my word, to have faith in my actions, to see that I am different because I serve someone other than myself. I want them to see my faith and my God. What things do I have in my life that achieve this end and what things are a waste of time? I think that only time will tell.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

–1 Corinthians 10:21-24


One thought on “Permissible vs. Beneficial

  1. ashley says:

    Linked In is a networking/resume posting site. haha…no real social purpose there.

    But I feel ya on the facebook front. I deactivated for a month and it felt mighty nice. I think I’ll keep it (cause it really doesn’t take over me) but it’s nice to have the choice of deactivation 🙂

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