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.