Striving for a set-apart life.

Today’s Girlfriends in God devotion spoke straight to me today (pasted below in full, my favorite sentiments bolded), I am pretty convinced. It’s about living a set-apart life. And part of that is living a life free of distraction…of the ‘e’ variety. Electronic.

I feel as though I am getting back into the too plugged in variety and this is the kick in the ass reminder I needed to let.it.go. I’ve made some good strides in this area, but I need to make more (writing these posts always reminds me of one of Alicia’s that I still refer to quite often!).

I am, now, more than ever, striving for a set-apart life. It’s as simple as that. No grand gestures or specifics on how I’ll do it, I just will.

Happy weekend, friends. Live it up. Set-apart. 

~~

Today’s Truth
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Friend to Friend
As Christian believers, we are called to live set-apart lives. To be holy as God is holy. To be in the world, but not of the world. God is the source of all holiness, and in order to live a set-apart life, we must spend time with Him so we can be fueled by His Holy Spirit.
I don’t know what your days look like, but mine are pretty full. They start early and end late. Once the sun rises, it seems that coffee isn’t the only thing brewing in my house. An invisible competition brews daily that vies for my time and attention. The competitors are often “good things” that end up to be “time-robbing things” that keep me from God’s best and God’s presence.

Today I’d like to put our computer lives under a spiritual microscope. I’m an e-girl. I love my MacBook Pro computer, my iPhone, email, instant messaging, and the World Wide Web. Though I’m admittedly fully immersed in the e-life, I’m also cognizant of the fact that the e-world has become a dangerous addiction and spiritual deterrent to many. I struggle with this personally. These electronic forums host a new and efficient opportunity for us to connect with other people 24/7. While much of the social networking, online surfing, and emailing is innocent, encouraging, and fun, they clearly present us with opportunities to sin and be distracted from set-apart living.

Over the past several years, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, instant messaging, and texting have replaced many face-to-face conversations and, for some, devotion time. They have become a new source of temptation for us, an opportunity to live a fantasy or a momentary escape from the daily grind.

A friend of mine recently said, “My computer whispers to me.” Yikes! Mine does, too! Though it’s embarrassing to admit, I sometimes don’t manage my time efficiently because I’ve given in to the lure of e-life by responding to the audio alert that indicates “I’ve got mail” or the notification that someone has left me a message on a social networking page of mine. As a result, I’ve robbed myself of productive time. Time I have wasted and spent unwisely.

We are warned against this in Scripture. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV).

Now, hear me clearly on this. I’m not saying that electronic forums or computers are bad or evil in and of themselves. (For goodness sakes, you’re reading this devotion because of the amazing electronic world!) I’m simply suggesting that it would be wise for each of us to pray about the amount of time and energy we devote to these things.

How can we be set apart in our e-life? How can we establish healthy e-boundaries that will protect our purity and our time with God? Perhaps we could start by taking an honest look at the amount of time we commit to our social e-lives versus the amount of time we commit to spending in God’s Word and in His presence each day. (Did that sting? Rest assured it stings me, too.)

The good news is that we can turn to God for direction and wisdom in all of this. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV). Our gracious Lord longs for each of us to choose His best and live each day in His strength.

“God, make a fresh start in me. Shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile; put a fresh wind in my sails!” Psalm 51:10-12, MSG

Let’s Pray
Dear God, Please help me to “live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:10-12).
In Jesus’s name,
Amen.

 

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24 thoughts on “Striving for a set-apart life.

  1. Perfect reminder. It can be so easy to start drifting to that super plugged in state. And I think part of it’s hard when you’re enjoying connecting with friends too – like twitter and/or FB conversations. You want to be involved and comment and share. But at what cost? How much is too much?

    1. So easy to slide into that, isn’t it? It IS hard though because, to your point, I do want to be in touch with my friends, like you, that I don’t get to actually see, often, and touch base virtually. It’s just a matter of a time and a place, and not necessary to do 24/7. I think that’s what is key for me, finding that balance of when to shut off and when it’s ok to be ‘on’

  2. Jason and I were on a little weekend trip away a while back – last year sometime – and I booked a hotel that I thought had wifi. It had internet, but no wifi, and I flipped out because my chromebook works with wifi, I didn’t even bring a cord with me (don’t think it has one…).

    I flipped out mainly because I had work to complete – which I was able to do quickly at a coffee shop… then, we spent the whole weekend unplugged and it was AWESOME. 🙂

  3. I LOVE the Girlfriends in God devotionals. I actually haven’t read them in awhile bec it reached a point where I had read them for so long that they were repeating and I have a freak memory of things like that, so wanted something fresh. I don’t remember this one though! e-boundaries would fit me all too well to forget. 😉

    I’ve been working so ahrd on this over the past months. Definitely so important.

    1. (freak memory! too funny). I am so glad you can relate and it is something you are working on too. It’s a hard habit to adjust to, and I won’t say to change because it’s just a matter of shifting when to plug IN and when to UNplug, ya know?

  4. I feel the same way lately — way way way too plugged in, too distracted, too removed from my day’s. It’s not good. I’m thinking with my new job and less time to be connected, it’s gonna force me to reevaluate, re-prioritize and nix some “e things that I just don’t need in my life anymore. LOVE this post sis.

      1. I re-read it too! It was one I needed to really think through too, but I knew immediately it’s the message I need to really keep close to heart! AMEN!

    1. Too distracted – good point sis! So much more important to BE in the moment with those with you etc. Not looking at Twitter or whatever. that stuff just isn’t as important.

  5. Such an important reminder. As much progress as I made “unplugging” during my summer sabbatical (which, admittedly, wasn’t that much), I feel myself fully emerging in all things “e” again. I’m feeling like September is all about re-prioritizing, decluttering and detoxing all the “stuff.”

    1. I found myself emerging into all things ‘e’ after my wine country trip too, even though I felt much better NOT as connected during that trip. I need to get back to that healthy balance. Getting there, but it takes a lot of practice!

  6. I agree. Deleting facebook for five months last year was an interesting experience, and of course I took nine months off from blogging, so I can relate to wanting to unplug. I am way too into the computer.

  7. I’m so glad I read this just now! Even though I’m not blogging as much, I’m still connected all day for work – I LOVE my job and Social Media is a passion, but I have to find balance and not get overwhelmed with constantly checking things both work & personal. It’s so important to manage our time for being unplugged for prayer and real-life conversation. Thanks for posting this beautiful biblical lesson – one I’ll remember!

    1. So true! I do social media for my job too, so it’s hard not to be ‘on’ even during off hours, at least a little bit. But there is a balance and a line to be drawn, it just goes along with work/life balance generally, ya know? So glad you liked this one! One of my favorites from GiG!

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