Identity… in an online world? Identity… in an online world?
Identity… in an online world?

While many voices rage

By Keith Boutte

 

  The internet has changed the world more than any other form of communication before it. People anywhere in the world can communicate in seconds—even seeing the other person’s face and surroundings. They can see each other’s lives as they happen, or post a cause to raise money to help someone in need. 

   As great as this technology is, it seems many people spend most of their time stuck in the web of information available to them, with little time for anything else. Lives are consumed following and seeing things that keep us from participating in the world and with people nearest to us.

What will you do?

   All the good and bad of this world are one click away to anyone who wants it. So then, what do you want? Maybe sports, medicine, news, podcasts, a cause, movies, games, or music? With all these choices and more, what will we take with us or leave behind? 

  Today, what we choose to do with internet access will shape our future for the good or the bad. “But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 NLT)

Joshua asked the people God delivered from slavery what they will do with this freedom God gave them. Today we must answer the questions, “What will we do with this internet freedom Jesus gave us? Will we serve God, or our selfish desires with this online freedom?”

It’s all too easy to spend hours online without noticing the time go by, but the question is—can we spend hours in prayer without noticing time go by? Or serving those in need? Or any other work that helps others while denying self? If we are Christians, we answer the question with how our time is spent.

Choices in identity

Our “identity” is shaped by the choices we make day-in and day-out. Today we will serve someone or something and will serve God or self. About six thousand years have passed since creation happened, but the same question remains asked in 1 Kings 18:21 (NLT),“Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, ‘How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!’ But the people were completely silent.”

Many voices rage today, even between believers, but only one voice will be heard in the day of judgment when every knee will bow and every tongue confess JESUS is LORD. Please understand this is not a scare tactic but a reality for everyone—how we choose to live will determine our eternity. Remember if you are born again, you are set apart in this world, but not of the world. Our “identity” is secure in our belief, trust and obedience to and in Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

Romans 8:34-37 (NLT) says, “Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

The internet is an amazing place to enjoy family, friends and information, but let’s not lose our “identity” in Christ when surfing the web. As Dr. Tony Evans stated, “The term ‘Christian’ should not be a title. It is to be your identification, just like your name. Being a follower of Christ is the essence of who you are.” 

Keith resides in Lafayette with his wife, Christy, and they have four children and three grandchildren. He has a passion for people, our city and seeing the Lord lifted up as a light and hope to others. 

 

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