|Photo by altemark|
A Powerful Tool
We need to remember that the internet is a very, very, very powerful tool - for better or for worse.
Through the internet, you can start a revolution that will free your country from tyranny. Through the internet, you can organize a charity drive and gain hundreds of thousands of dollars within a few days. Through the internet, you alone can spread good and healthy messages to millions from all over the world.
And through the internet, you can do Harlem Shake.
We owe it to ourselves to use it wisely. A tool is only as good as the person using it.
A Tool, The User, and The Manual
Anything that is a tool can be used for either good or bad (or naughty). Whenever a tool is not used for what it was designed for, the situation almost always goes downhill from there.
Take a knife for example - a very useful tool. But if you give it to a person who doesn't know how to do it, or a person who uses it for wrong reasons, you will get great harm from it.
That is where the manual comes in.
Every tool has a manual, a guide, as to how to use it properly. There is no such thing as absolute freedom. You can't have absolute freedom, otherwise the world will be chaos.
You need boundaries. You need limits.
Take a car as another example. A car has a manual and within that manual, you will know what it can and can't do. You will know what it was designed for, the functions of its various parts, and how to maintain the car. You will know the boundaries and limits of the car.
You don't use a car to crash into buildings. It was not made for that purpose. You don't use your average car for racing too, because it is limited in terms of durability and speed.
Following the manual will ensure not only the safety of the driver, but also the safety of the passengers and other people around.
So yeah, it is not a small thing at all. Sometimes it could be a matter of life and death.
The Internet's Manual
But what about the internet? Does it have a manual?
Technically, no. It is not "manufactured" with a manual or a guide. However, we do have legislation and laws that sort of govern how the internet should be used. So in a way, you could consider it as a "manual".
But I believe, the real manual for the internet (or for anything for that matter) is the heart.
The state of the heart will determine how the internet is used. Why the heart? Because unlike the car, there is no police to chase you when you do something wrong. You can easily get away with things on the internet. Unless you do stuff that is very, very wrong that the FBI needs to hunt you down. But even then, you can still get away.
So who/what is the police of the heart?
My answer to that is the heart polices itself, and the best police of the heart is a God-conscious heart. A God-conscious heart will default towards what's right and will fear the possibility of committing wrong. Even if no one was around and you can easily get away from people; the heart knows that it can never get away from God.
God knows - from the biggest of the big to the smallest of the small.
That fact provides both comfort and fear.
It provides comfort because despite what others know, we know that God knows about our struggles and our successes. The only consolidation and acknowledgement that we need.
It provides fear because we don't want to displease God, just like we don't want to displease the person we love most. It aches us to see the one we love most displeased with us because of us.
Is the internet a blessing or a curse? The answer to that question lies in the answer to this question: is God pleased or displeased with how you're using it?