Faith Book
Susanne Scheppmann

"They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God." Nehemiah 9:3 (NIV)

A new addiction slipped into my life recently - Facebook. Internet social networking slid in quietly and unobtrusively. Each day I found myself reading and posting a bit more. I learned how to create my visual bookshelf, so my "friends" could check out what I was reading. I linked my blog. My time seeped into Facebook like grains of sand slide through the hourglass.

My addiction soon took a turn for the worst. I began to put off my personal quiet time with God until after I had Facebooked. Sadly, scripture seemed boring next to my friends' postings. Strangely, the mundane posts intrigued me. I had fallen under the spell of social networking.

Then one day, I dragged myself away from my laptop. I had Bible study that night and needed to finish my lesson. The lesson pointed us to the book of Nehemiah. I read, "They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God." (Nehemiah 9:3, NIV).

Yikes! They read God's Word for a quarter of the day, then spent another quarter of the day in confession and worshiping? These words haunted me the rest of the afternoon. When was the last time I spent that much time with God? How much time did I spend on the Internet? I felt a deep conviction about my Facebook addiction.

I determined that day to read my Bible, my FaithBook, before I turned on my computer each day. I would network with God, before networking with my friends. When I made this decision, I saw scripture jump back to life. God's Word spoke to me with a freshness that seemed as if He had just posted it Himself.

The addiction stopped. Oh, I still enjoy Facebook and other social networks, but I have learned to keep them in proper perspective. Psalm 119:59-60 sums up my new intent: "I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands" (NLT).

Will you join me in the commitment to spending time in God's Word before time spent on Facebook?

Dear Lord, I recognize that I spend too much time on the computer. Forgive my inattention to Your Word. Help me each day to place You first in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Listen to Today’s Radio Show for more about spending time with God.

Pierced by the Word by John Piper

Birds in My Mustard Tree: How to Grow Your Faith by Susanne Scheppmann

For more from Susanne, visit her blog as well as her resource page

Application Steps:
Today, take notice of how much time you spend on the computer for personal enjoyment. Decide to make your quiet time with God a priority. Read Psalm 119 and then ponder the benefits of time spent in God's Word.

Reflections:
Do I put off my quiet time with God in lieu of "social networking?"

Am I willing to commit more time to reading the Bible?

How can I begin to keep my life in a healthy balance?

Power Verses:
Exodus 24:7, "Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, 'We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.'" (NIV)

Romans 10:17, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (NIV)

Joshua 1:8, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." (NIV)

© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

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33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thank you so much for this! My pattern used to be to wake up and spend some time on Proverbs 31 and do my daily Bible reading, but just like you, I slipped into Facebook first thing. We so often let things that are okay become things that are horrible by putting them in front of God. Thanks for turning my head in the right direction!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not addicted per se to social networking but I do find myself spending hours from time to time on my network club or just reading stuff on the internet. When that happens, I can't help but ask myself would I be willing to spend that much time with the Word of God? I find it is so easy to get caught up with the internet. It is addictive. Like I said I do not do it often but each time I do there is that sense of guilt because I know I would not be so "caught up" in God's Word. So thank you for that thought.

Anonymous Lisa V. said...

ouch ouch ouch!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for this posting. I am a mom of 3, who teaches full-time. Since it i summer, I have been feeling cut-off from adults, so I have been finding myself on the net alot (and of course FB is top of the list). Thank you for this reminder of how I have turned to the world and web, to make me feel in touch and not alone. I am going to commit to spending my first time of the day in the word and with God. These daily devotions have been such a blessing to me, thanks.

Blogger Angie said...

Oh my goodness, I decided to visit Proverbs 31 for my morning quiet time which I had put off because I was...on Facebook! Thank you so much for sharing this and confirming my conviction that I am on it WAY too much.

Blogger Jessica said...

Ouch... this one hits home. I have been aware of this problem for myself and in combat with it before, but it has been creeping in again here and there. Always something new to try to distract us from time with God, right? :-p I have been telling myself to be more purposed when I open my computer -- to have a plan and stick to it -- but I need to truly make a commitment to that. Otherwise it's like shopping without a list all the time... you tend to keep splurging where you don't mean or need to and can't afford it. :-p

Blogger Faith said...

WOw..I really needed this today. I started FB because we have a daughter who is a teen and in order for her to do FB we told her we would be checking on her via ours.
Well my hubby and I are both a little addicted....
and like you say here I was finding my self turning on the computer before turning in to the Word...so not what I want to be doing.
Thanks for this..it is very timely!!!

Blogger limijas said...

Amen from a fellow former FB addict. just last week I realized how much time I was spending on it and started wondering why I was feeling so unsettled, and then came the realization I had skipped DAYS of Bible study. Thank You!!!

Blogger Dustan and Becka said...

You hit the nail on the head with this. Wow, it is so applicable to my life at the moment. Thank you for a MUCH needed reminder.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this column. I'm like all the others...checked FB this morning while my Bible sat next to me on the desk. And it is a new Bible I bought just for the purpose of making Bible reading easier. But thank you for relieving the guilt because I can see that so many other women are in the same place and it makes me realize that God puts us all together here so that we don't feel alone and we don't have to take on guilt because of our sin...it really and truly is all washed away.

Blogger Tammy said...

I joined Facebook a few months ago, so I can relate. How quickly we can become addicted. I remember the morning, I thought, "I'll just check Facebook right quick before I spend time with the Lord." Thankfully, I felt so convicted I forced myself to walk past the computer to my "prayer room." I still spend too much time on the computer and am asking God's help to use my time more wisely. Thank you for this timely word.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thank you for putting this clearly and cleverly into words. I put a link to this devotional blog page on my Facebook link. Who knows; maybe it'll help some of my Facebook "friends" to understand why I'm not on there very often!! Thanks again for the work of the Lord that you do!

I have been dealing with this struggle, myself. I live in a foreign country, so my only communication is via email, FB or myspace. I noticed that I had started to begin my day by checking my inboxes, one after the other... instead of the devotionals I used to start my day with.

God convicted me that I was prioritizing relationships with friends and family, over my relationship with Him. Yesterday, I successfully started off the day with a Bible study, on the web. Today, I chose to come to this devotional first.

While I do use the internet to stay close to family, I also use it to get closer to God and build my faith. The real issue is – Who is more important? Who comes first? I am so thankful that we have a forgiving God, who is patient with us. Sometimes we are so weak.

Amazing how He always reaffirms His will for us. :)


Thank you for this post. So timely…
and much-needed.

Blogger roana said...

Thank you for this. A very timely, important, painful, but very much needed rebuke. Reposting it on my facebook :) -From an avid reader from the Philippines

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOOWWWW!!!!! Point painfully taken!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god for this devotion today. I am not addicted but I know that with everything going on in the world I sure need to spend more time reading and meditating on God's word. It is so easy to browse this and that and before you know it its been a few hours spent on the computer.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your article. I too have found myself slipping into the habit of "logging on" before I log in to God's word in the morning. It was just what I was already convicted of...thanks for being honest with your readers. I thank God for his revelation of this matter to many of us. Your Sister in Christ

Anonymous Anonymous said...

10 women from our church just met last night brainstorming on how we can encourage women in a daily time with God and then this came to one of the women - God is confirming his message of the importance of this time in the Word

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so glad yet convicted to read this this morning. I too probably spend WAY too much time on said social networking sites. It's an addiction surely!

From now on I am going to make sure that my time with God comes first before I even start up my computer first thing in the a.m. Which has been a habit now for years!

Thanks again!

Blogger Wanda M said...

What a great reminder for everyone (myself included) - and very timely too. I knew FaceBook was out there but since I've joined, I realize just how fast and vast the FB craze has become. I have friends who are on there several tmes a day. Until recently I was on there daily but have been trying to slow life down in so many ways. This one will now be my priority - I want my quiet time with God back and it's up to me to have the willpower to make it happen. How much better my days will be with priorities straightened out.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came from Facebook and logged in to Proverbs31 - no joke! It is a good thing that has become an addiction for me too. I fasted on it for a week and boy was I relieved when that week was over. The crazy thing is that when I got back on, I felt bombarded - like my senses over stimulated. I want to set limits but I bypass them for the overstimulation - that's addiction. I don't want to make a good thing become a source of bondage for me and will have to obey quickly like the last verse you shared and set limits.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! what a devotion. Not only FB but there are so many distractions, (TV, computers- news social networks, friends, work, books etc etc etc) all being the devil's ways of taking us away from spending many quarters of our day(s) with our Father Lord God Almighty! If only I could set my priorities right and consecrate my day to the Lord first thing in the am!! Please God forgive me for my sins,help me overcome my weaknesses. Thank you for being my God, merciful and mighty!
CT

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow God is Good. I think it is awesome 23plus commented on today's devotion. God mold us all to what you want us to be. God Bless and Keep in Christ.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post - so needed. I'm planning on thinking on this more as I know my priorities are out of whack!

Blogger ShaRhonda said...

Ouch, I needed that!! When I NEED God He is ALWAYS there, but when things are going fine I do not spend quality time with God as I should. I am ALWAYS thankful to God, but I WILL start spending quality time with Him. Facebook/Busy Schedule vs. Quality Time with God...This SHOULD be a no brainer!!! Thanks again!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! But how many of us are addicted to other computer issues,porn, shopping,craigslist,etc.
I beleive the computer is a weapon of satan.

OpenID angelasmorgan said...

Thank you so much for being honest and posting this.. Its amazing.. how the Holy Spirit speaks through these posts. May you be uplifted in knowing how you have blessed us with your honesty.. the TRUTH shall set you free. and may we all be set free once we are truthful with oursleves that we spend way to much time on the computer.. and less time with OUR LORD!.. HE deserves our TIME!

Blogger Zao said...

Because this has been a challenge for me, I have made it my rule to not even turn my computer on before my prayer and devotional time. The opportunities for distraction are endless - I should know, I've followed every one! That said, I do love using FB to witness and pray with friends (yesterday I was able to pray with 3 FB friends as a result of their posts). At first, I wanted to limit my friend list to people with whom I was comfortable sharing my testimony and talking about my faith. I realized that God uses technology, too! Praying with a friend from High School I haven't seen for 20 years as she awaits tests on her pregnancy was a God given opportunity.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also made this comittment several months ago, which to me meant no fb or emails or going anywhere near my desk before spending time being filled with the refreshing and nourishing truth of God's Word. It has been truly rewarding to set this God honoring boundry- He always gives us back above and beyond what we give Him! Unlike fb, emails and my desk, He NEVER compares, disappoints or stresses us out!

Blogger M.Awe said...

Oh! What an eye opener.It hurts when someone shows you the mirror.We get so absorbed with everything but the word of God. In my case I often promise to myself, 'Well let me finish this, I'll have a quiet time with the word of God'.But by the time I finish 'this, that & everything', I conveniently forget or ignore the promise made to myself. So thanks for reminding that spending quality time with God's word is more important and rewarding than anything else.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree, but I also believe the Daily Devotions would be a great thing to share on facebook to help spread God's Word with others!

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Hi Anonymous....we actually do post our devotions on Facebook. Please check our page out at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Blessings! P31

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