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Integrity in Hidden Places, Day 11- Integrity Online

Week 2

Day 11- Integrity Online
Ruth P McDonald

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy.” (1 Peter 3:15a, ESV)

“For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.” (2 Corinthians 8:21, ESV)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, ESV)

Situation 1:
It was late. His wife had gone to bed early, exhausted from a day of struggling with toddlers. While she slept, he opted to finish up emails and prepare for his work day the next morning. As he worked through his calendar, his phone pinged with a text. A colleague was asking if he was going to the convention the following week, and when he responded that he was, she made a comment any man with half a brain would understand. His heart beat harder and his stomach felt weird. This was unexpected, and yet this woman was smart, attractive, and apparently interested in him. *News flash: this man is in a crisis situation, and his response will set in motion his path—for either upholding his integrity (and marriage), or compromise and ultimate ruin.

Situation 2:
Scrolling through social media, she found an ad for a swimsuit she was sure would make her appear more attractive. In fact, there were a few that drew her attention, and while they had no money to spend on clothing presently, she decided to open a credit account with the store secretly, choosing four suits for the coming season. While expensive, she reasoned that they would make her feel better about herself. The bill would be hidden from her husband and she could get cash back from groceries to pay for it little by little. *News flash: she’s compromising their finances, destroying intimacy and honesty in her marriage, and not being content with what the Lord has given them.

Situation 3:
She loved the attention, but she mostly craved the comments. Some days she almost believed them, and others she struggled inwardly with self-worth. Was she just a pretty face, or was there more to it than that? But here she was again, posting another selfie in a white bikini, setting off her perfect tan. After about 20 tries, she finally found the pose she wanted that would surely attract the attention she craved, the validation she needed. And so, throwing modesty to the wind, she hit publish, and sat back waiting for her fix—a craving she was looking for in others, but one only God could truly fill. Disconnected from Him, she had lost her way and lacked the confidence that comes from being a child of God. So, over and over again, she did what she could to find it in other places—but it would never satisfy.

These are fictional situations, but they are played out across the globe day after day. They aren’t exclusive to unbelievers; they are issues we face as Christians, too. But these are areas where our integrity is under the attack of Satan, and without careful foresight, we may fall and fail and our reputation will suffer for it. Furthermore, our relationships will also suffer. And so we must be on guard, be wise, and use social media avenues with discernment and godliness. Decades ago, being at home preserved us from a host of troubles, but it’s no longer so. Our phones and computers are avenues for grave sin and heartache.

If your issue is pornography, set safeguards on all your devices and ask for accountability from a trusted, godly source. If your issue is gaming to the detriment of your responsibilities, set reasonable time limits or sell the gaming system if you cannot. If your issue is overspending, put down your device and pray for the strength to walk away, content without the latest and greatest offering. If your issue is a person whom you find attractive but you’re married or engaged, block their number. If your issue is posting selfies for affirmation, ask God to help you be satisfied with His approval instead. If your issue is using company time to surf the web and peruse social media, set reminders on your device and pray for victory over misuse. If your issue is jealousy over what this person has and you don’t have it, ask yourself why you are not content with what the Lord has blessed you with, and make it a point to pray for further blessing over the object of your jealousy.

In whatever issues we may have with social media, we must be discerning enough to recognize our sin and wise enough to correct it, and until we do so, we will struggle and fail. There are so many opportunities for witnessing and being a godly example online. If someone were to look at our profile, what is the first deduction they would make about us? We want to be known as Christ followers, but we also want our hearts to align with this knowledge, and therefore our integrity in hidden places is an integral part of our testimony.

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