“Scene 1: It’s ten o’clock on Sunday morning. Sadie bounces from person to person as church is about to begin. She hugs everyone and smiles. She races toward the door when she sees Corrie, the youth pastor’s wife, who is planning this weekend’s youth retreat. She hugs her and tells her how “psyched” she is for it and that she’s really ready for a “God encounter.” She thanks her for planning it and races off to hug another needy heart. Sadie has a strong spiritual gift of mercy. She knows it and she loves using it.
Scene 2: It’s ten o’clock on Sunday night. Sadie is parked in front of her laptop where she’s been for the last hour. Right now she’s I.M.-ing with Jake. First they talk about how “face” Corrie is. Then, the conversation gets a little sexual. Jake says he’d like to take her virginity away from her, but he’s just not sure. After all, she’s the pastor’s daughter. What would he think? Sadie says it’s none of her dad’s business.
Will the real Sadie please stand up?” (Lies Young Women Believe, 103).
This story is found in the opening of the chapter about relationships in Lies Young Women Believe. It clearly illustrates something we were surprised to uncover as we did research for the book. It seems that many of you have bought the lie that it’s okay to be one person at home and a different person with others. We found this to be especially true when examining your media habits.
I have been reminded the power of this lie several times in my own life recently. On two separate occasions, I have received text messages from Christian friends that were surprisingly gruff and hurtful. The individuals sending those messages would never talk to me that way in person, but text messaging seemed to provide some sort of buffer that made them feel safe be uncharacteristically abrasive.
More recently, I was the one being two-faced. Within the context of two conversations (on the same day!) I acted like two completely different versions of the same person. I spent the morning with a friend of mine who has several kids. I went on and on about how much I love being a mom and how I can’t wait to have more children. That afternoon I had a phone conversation with another friend. She was talking about how frustrating she found motherhood to be. I chimed right in. “Yeah, it is so hard” I said. “I don’t think I want any more.” Huh? What made me think it was okay to be one Erin with one friend and another version with someone else?
I doubt that you’re having conflicting conversations about motherhood. But, it’s possible that you can see yourself somewhere in Sadie’s story or in mine. The Bible calls this kind of behavior being “double-minded” and it’s something we should work hard to avoid.
James 1:8 tells us that a double-minded man (or woman) is unstable in all his ways. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
If we are double-minded, there is work to be done. We need to purify our hearts and lives and we need to draw near to God to do it.
But…what if we don’t know we’re doing it?
Many of us have become so desensitized to our patterns of sin in this area, we may not even be consciously aware that there’s a problem. So, to make sure that you are living single-mindedly, especially where your technology is concerned, I’m going to send you on a scavenger hunt. This challenge can be found on page 82 in the newly released Lies Young Women Believe Companion Guide, and I think it’s a great litmus test for revealing areas of double-mindedness in our lives.
Ready? Here we go!
Have you ever helped your mom with a major “spring cleaning” in your house? She looks in closets, drawers, corners, and under the refrigerator for trash, dust bunnies or items that are out of place. Today it’s time for you to do a different kind of “house cleaning” project. We’re going to search online (assuming it’s OK with your parents!). Specifically, you’re going to dig through your MySpace, Facebook, and email inbox. Note any of the following items you find on your personal web and email pages (do not go looking anywhere else!).
- a profile picture that is mildly sexual
- a photo of you kissing a guy
- drug paraphernalia or references
- negative comments about other people
- use of God’s name in vain
- photos obviously taken at parties (specifically those including alcohol)
- links to YouTube videos with questionable content
- violent photos
- photos with immodest dress
- mean girl comments
Hopefully you won’t find any of these things. Even if you just find one of these things, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Ultimately, our online lives should match fully with what God intends for us!