The final session of the ladies’ conference I attended last weekend is the one that spoke to me the most. Just when I thought I’d managed to get through with just a little encouragement for the way! LOL
Several of the sessions were taught by Mrs. Vicki Mutchler, whose husband pastors
Mrs. Mutchler’s final session topic was “Strung Out.” The theme of the conference was “Addicted”, from I Corinthians 16:15, so several of the sessions used terminology that would be common to addictions of the bad kind. Mrs. Mutchler called our attention to the addictions we have – and we all have them – that are useless. They’re vanity, worthless, things that have little or no eternal value. She gave us the picture of a woman who appears to have everything together, a strong servant of God, good wife, loving mother, who behind closed doors has an addiction. It may be the computer, or the TV, or talking on the phone, or reading novels, or eating too much. Whatever it is, it is taking away from her relationship with God, because if she’s not spending time with God, letting an addiction dictate her time, she has no relationship worth mentioning with God. That got my attention.
You see, I spend a lot of time at this computer. I love to read blogs. The blogs I read are not bad; in fact, they are very good ones. I love homemaking and craft blogs, and blogs by women who are just like me, pastors’ wives and/or members of independent, fundamental Baptist churches. I also love to read blogs of women who may not be my particular stripe of Baptist, but they are definitely saved and seeking to serve the Lord in their daily lives. And I like to read blogs of ladies who may not even be Baptist at all, but who are saved and serving the Lord. I just love them. I love reading blogs.
Not only do I love blogs, I also love to surf the internet. I have never gotten into any kind of websites that I would be ashamed to let my husband or anyone else see. They are all good and have some value to them. But they are not important enough for me to spend all of my time looking at them.
There’s nothing wrong with blogs or surfing in themselves, but the problem I had was that I was addicted to them. Yes, addicted. When I wasn’t online, I was thinking about being online. When I was online, I was totally absorbed in what I was doing. I could spend two hours online without even thinking about it. And the thing is, the Lord had been nudging me, convicting me about how much time I spent online. But it took another pastor’s wife saying, “You’re strung out on the computer just like a drug addict is on drugs” to get my attention. I was doing the exact same thing a drug addict does! I would feed my addiction every day, think of it when I wasn’t feeding it, and get to it as soon as I could get away from whatever else absolutely had to be done. My heart was broken. I hadn’t realized just how addicted I was, but I saw my condition plainly as Mrs. Mutchler spoke. It felt like God put His finger on my heart and just probed deeper and deeper. What I saw there hurt so bad! I asked His forgiveness and His help to overcome this addiction. He has forgiven, and I know He will help. I just have to keep myself willing to be helped.
I don’t believe that God is asking me to completely give up blogging, reading blogs, or enjoying the internet on occasion. My husband has told me many times that there is room for some time on the computer, but that it should not consume my day. There are also some things that I legitimately need to be online for, but they don’t take up most of my day or my thoughts! The things I need to get addicted to are my husband, children, and church ministry, because I won’t be able to remove an addiction and not replace it with other activities that are more valuable. The other sessions were about addicting ourselves to the good things, and I’ll be sharing my notes from those sessions as I have time. The main thing I’m doing is keeping track of how much time I spend online, and how I’m spending my time each day. I’m literally writing down everything I do. I also have a daily to-do list on my desk, that I consult throughout the day, to help guide my activities. I’ve been so wrapped up in the computer that at times during the day I honestly don’t know what to do next! So at this point, I'm trying to see where the computer fits into my day, or even if it fits into every day of my life. My husband is such a help in this, as he can see things that I am blind to sometimes.
Maybe you’re shocked by this post, that a Christian could get so far gone on something that she is addicted to it. Or maybe you see yourself in my situation, with the computer or maybe with something else. In either case, let’s encourage one another and provoke one another to good works. I’ve confessed my fault to you so that you can pray for me. Please do that!
This has gotten very long! If you’re still reading, you deserve a medal! ;) Hopefully my other posts about the conference will be shorter.