When you read the title, you probably thought that I was joking. How is it possible to redeem the time on Facebook where most people loose time and with time they also loose relationships and many other opportunities, while others loose their minds there. I chose the title after the verse from the Bible that says:
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
The word translated in English “time” is the greek word καιρός (KAIROS) which refferse to time as season or opportunity. So, to us christians, we are asked to walk wisely in everything we do and to redeem the time, meaning to use every opportunity to do God’s will. I would also like to get your attention that it’s our responsability to understand acknowledge and understand what is the will of God in every situation, including the time when we use Facebook or any other social network, because they create the same problems, and the same principles apply to them.
In this article I will present a few useful advise that will help every christian not to waste time and opportunities on Facebook, but, to use this tool to redeem the time and fullfill God’s will. It is sad to see that Facebook to many is like a toy, while it is a great tool for communication, and if you wish, even a pulpit, around which you could gether your friends and serve them with the Gospel. So, how can we redeem time on Facebook?
1. Plan before entering Facebook
King Solomon wrote:
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want. – (Proverbs 21:5)
I want you to see that the diligent and the hasty they both work. The difference between them two is that one plans very carefully his work that leads to prosperity, while the other one works hastly, without a plan and surely comes to poverty. It is the same thing with Facebook. Every time you get on Facebook without a plan, you will waste a lot of time and you will only react, you won’t act apon. So, don’t be like that anymore. In your agenda or on a piece of paper write everything you would like to do, a list with all your tasks while surfing the internet. The fact that you will have a to do list, it will help you be organized and not to waste time in vane.
2. Write posts that fulfill your friends’ needs
Plan ahead the post you would like to write, and astart from the needs that your friends in your network have. Then your posts will be more relevant when they will answer people’s needs. In the Epistle to Colossians it is written:
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:5-6)
When Paul says those “without wisdom” he refferes to non-believers. They are among your friends in your network, even those outside your network can access your posts at any time. So, be wise towards them and redeem the oportunities to tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ. When he says that your speech should always be with grace and seasoned with salt it is reffering to your Facebook posts as well. Don’t post cheap and not usefull stuff. Post words with grace, words that bring grace from God. The difference between the food that has salt and the one that doesn’t it’s that the one with salt is more interesting and it tastes better and delicious. Thus have to be our posts, interesting for people. And if you plan ahead it will be like that. Get inspired from the Bible study which you are curently doing when writing your posts.
3. Publish your posts
The first thing you do when you get on Facebook you should publish your posts that you prepared ahead of time with much care so that they are with grace and seasoned with salt, as the apostle says. By publishing your post first you will act and not react realizing that you wasted hours on Facebook and you don’t come with words (posts) with grace and salt.
4. Answer to your private messages
Check your inbox and see if you received any personal messages, because some of them might be urgent and you must give them priority. In fact in life, you should always give priority to personal relationships that you have with people, so that you don’t wake up one day that you are friends with everybody and you are not friends with anybody or that you communicate with everybody and yet you don’t communicate well with anybody. For this not to happen, answer the messages you received immediately after you publish your well thought posts.
5. Scroll through News Feed
Usually, until now you went there first. That’s why you always reacted instead of acting. Look through News Feed and give LIKE where you want to show your apreciation, give SHARE to any material that you want to distribute and COMMENT wisely anywhere you want to leave an encouragement, a prayer, a thanksgiving, a good advise in one word – a word with grace and seasoned with salt. Acceped the invitations to the events you were invited and send them along to your friends. These could be church services where you attend, camps, the sessions at the Bible Institute. With this occasion, I would like to invite you to a six week Bible Study “How to build a strong family” which began on February 26th 2015 every Thursday at 6:00pm at “Grace” Church located on Str. Ciocârliei 2/8, Chişinău.
This way you will make sure that you dont miss on anything important, because this is a quick way to scroll through news feed without scrolling it all and in this way you will see only what referes to you and you didn’t see since last log in on Facebook.
7. Answer the important posts from notifications
Only if these are really important. They might be just posts from a work group, church commitee, your Bible study group, etc. See what’s important and answer to them.
8. Limit the time and the frequency of Facebook use
After you have done everything according to the first steps, set a time limit that you are going to spend on Facebook and how frequent you will access this social network. From my personal experience I think 30-40 minutes a day should be enough. One hour the most. I think it is more than enough to access the social network you use just one time a day. Then, after you’ve done everything you had to do there, don’t come back, because you will be distracted from other activities and you won’t be able to concentrate on other responsabilities. Spend time to study the Holy Scriptures and for that I would like to recommend inductive Bible study books.
I invite you to share your experiences here and your advice regarding Facebook and other social networks which you think would be helpful for other readers. Also, if you found this article usefull, post it on Facebook and recommend it to your friends. May God bless you!