The Sad Story Of Jackson
“Everything is permissible
for me," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible
for me," but I will not be brought under the control of anything "
(1 Corinthians 6:12 HCSB).
Brethren, a very dear
brother in the Lord gave me permission to briefly write about an experience they
had as a God-fearing family. With this experience, our dear brother wishes to
warn and discourage Christians from the effects of social networking.
Now our brother Samuel
(not real name) explained that a few years ago he and his wife decided to buy a
cellular phone for their 12-year-old son Jackson (also not real name) because
he had been obedient and faithful in everything including his relationship with
God and buying this phone for Jackson greatly pleased them. Before giving him
his new cellular phone, Jackson’s father being a pastor, warned him about the
addiction to social networking and the kinds of friends he might come across. Without hesitation, Jackson gave his father an
assurance that he will be careful and prays before acquiring new friends who should
anyway just be Christians.
However, a few months
later Jackson’s behavior started changing the father observed that he would
frequently be busy with the phone while busy reading the bible. Just on a
particular day, the Holy Spirit prompted Jackson’s father to borrow him his
cellular phone for a few minutes. As the father went through the phone’s
content he came across pornographic material and after showing his wife, they
called Jackson in and inquired from him why he had such content on his cellular
phone. Being shocked that his parents discovered his secret, Jackson confessed
that he had become addicted to social networking and the material he had on his
phone and that he was relieved this came out since he needed a way out of this.
As it was, after
disciplining Jackson his cellular phone was confiscated but would be given back
if he promised that he would not do what he did. After prayer and a strong
conviction, Jackson repented of this and promised to his parents never to venture
into that direction again. Meanwhile, not being vigilant (1 Peter 5:8) enough
Samuel confessed that he trusted Jackson’s word of promise (not to repeat the same
folly) more than relying on the Lord. This made them (Samuel and his wife)
spiritually blind and they did not even consider to pray daily asking the Lord to
shield Jackson against that spirit of addiction (Psalm 3:3; 18:3-4) which made
its return a few months later and Jackson was NEVER the same again!
The Grief Of A Parent
King Solomon said, "A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him" (Proverbs 17:25). As we continue, in great unhappiness of
soul, our beloved brother Samuel recalled that Jackson’s spiritual life started
deteriorating as he lost interest in the things of God. Being a fairly disciplined child who is well-versed in the Scriptures, Jackson started despising and disrespecting his
parents even after the Lord Himself appeared to him warning him not to
disrespect his parents but to honor them (Ephesians 6:1-3) and this fell on
deaf ears the brother heart-brokenly recalled. As it was, Jackson became
reckless and rebellious, running away from home on several occasions to express
his disdain for God and his parents (Luke 15:21) and currently, Jackson is
still, a subject of prayer even after he re-committed his life to the Lord,
while his parents admit that he is no longer the same person in his faith and commitment
to God after having tasted the forbidden fruit of disobedience (Genesis 3:5-7).
In conclusion, as a
ministry we do acknowledge that cellular phones are a source of great help to
humanity and we do not regret the usefulness of this technology in our lives.
As our lead Scripture declares, it is permissible but we also know that its
connection to the internet with so much poisonous content readily available it
contributes to various addictions like in chat rooms, porn sites, gossip
content, bad company, deceitful lying, and the promotion of hate-speech amongst
brethren. Being a minister of the gospel, I have counseled a number of young
people who showed symptoms of psychological issues and who have been badly altered by the impact of
social networking which is evident in the hollow and ‘actor’ kind of lifestyle they
follow (1 John 2:15-17).
Therefore, if you are
hooked to social media which brought about its own taste of pleasure for
gossip, lustfulness, gaming, the conspiring of hateful and evil talk, porn, etc
please repent and ask the Lord to deliver you and if you confess He will show
His faithfulness (1 John 1:9). In addition, we cannot over-emphasize that the
Lord is NEAR and that is what He repeated to me (Brother Glenn) this morning
(19/10/2020) and may the Lord bless, save and deliver those who give heed to
this teaching in Jesus' name.