Growing up, my dad always said, "a change on the outside, means a change on the inside." He is going to chuckle to himself when he reads this, but the time that stands out in my mind the most where this famous phrase was used was when I walked into my parents bedroom one evening and he saw a new found accessory on my face. Yup, I got my nosed pierced. I was about 22, if I can remember correctly, and made my youngest sister come with me because I was so nervous. My dad took one look at my nose and one look at me and smiled and said, "a change on the outside means a change on the inside." I have a feeling he wasn't thinking this change on the inside was too fantastic in that moment. ☺ I rolled my eyes, I'm sure, and didn't think much about it. I'm still not exactly certain why I decided that day to have a large needle shoved into my nostril, but now six years later I still have it and it has just become a part of me. It's my little accessory that my daughter likes to call my "nose earring." I have many speculations looking back, none for certain, but I do know that there had to be a reason for doing this at the time and I wish I would have been blogging then because it would have been very interesting to read now what was going on in my 22 year old brain. Or actually, thinking about it now, it's probably a good thing I wasn't blogging. lol.
This idea of a change on the outside means a change on the inside can be either positive or negative. I can now understand this phrase from such a deeper level and it hit me tonight when I once again am realizing just what kind of journey that I am going on with my initial outside change being getting off of Facebook for 365 days.There is a definite change going on inside of me and I think I'm only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg of where I'm headed.
Tonight my husband and I went to the second week of a class that one of the pastors at our church is teaching. The class is entitled Doctrine & Theology. I learned in the first week of the class that I am a theologian! I feel so prestigious saying that. In theory, it's simply someone that studies God. Anyways, tonight we showed up 30 minutes late, and not because we were running late, we actually thought in our head, or I guess I should say I THOUGHT that the time the class started was 6:30 and as we were walking out the door at 6 pm, I got a call from my sister's boyfriend and he had to break the news that the class was indeed starting at that moment. This was totally on me, as I was the one that went to last week's class, while my husband stayed home with the sick kids and I didn't remember the time? So ridiculous. We have a small commute to our church so we were driving and my husband said, "Well now I don't feel so bad about earlier!" We had a good laugh. My husband (and he gave me permission to tell this story) went to the store this afternoon to get more baby formula since we were on the last bottle and his mom was going to be watching our kids for us tonight. So he came back with exactly everything else on the list except the formula which was the entire reason for the trip! He was so annoyed with himself and had to make yet another trip out, and if you know where we live, well the store is not so convenient. So we both had some short term memory loss today. Usually I just blame this sort of thing on baby brain... but I have a feeling now that my son is just about 10 months old that I don't think people are going to buy it much longer.. haha. Maybe I just need to have another baby? Oh man... see where my brain goes? Back to the topic lady!
Despite our arrival being 30 minutes late, the class was amazing and my husband and I left it feeling convicted and uplifted. A good portion of tonight's class was on the topic of "how can I know if it is God's voice?" Basically, the pastor was saying, let's say you are praying and asking God for an answer to something and you feel like you get an answer from God, well how do we actually know that is God? Oh so many times I have said to myself that God has put something on my heart, or I felt God telling me something. I never thought about the fact that it may not actually be God, but possibly my own thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of prayer and they could be wrong! I hope I'm not losing anyone.. this is a deeper topic than some of my other posts, but I love this sort of stuff.
As I listened tonight I instantly thought of my initial post. I did feel as though the Lord fully convicted me of my time wasting on Facebook that Thursday morning of January 6th. It was not an answer to prayer or something I had even really acknowledged until that point. The pastor explained in so many words that in order to know if it's truly God we must test what ever we "think is right" against scripture... scripture being the breathed word of God. If you have any question as to why I fully believe the Bible I would gladly like to have that conversation with you someday. ☺
So, I decided tonight to do just that. I wanted to make sure that my change on the outside was actually something that paralleled with the word that I say so often that I trust. Believe it or not, Facebook is not found in the Bible. I was shocked. Kidding of course, but I did indeed look up the topics of time management, self-discipline and idleness. Oh boy did I hit a jackpot. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 was one that jumped off the page at me. It it written, "So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." Practice what you preach surely comes to mind. Addiction can take so many forms and how can I look down upon any other addiction when I am struggling with one myself? It was time to remove the plank from my own eye.
Hebrews 12:11 says, "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Time management and self-discipline were the two screaming issues I was being convicted of that morning and so, good-bye Facebook for a year was my response. I had no idea exactly why I was doing it for a year, but I think the big man upstairs surely did. He knew this would be something that would hit me and hit me hard. One of my favorite things about the Bible is that it doesn't just expose your faults, it shows you how to change them.
Now, another part of the class tonight also spoke to me. It was on the idea of boundaries. This of course caught my attention because I absolutely just gave myself a boundary by challenging myself to a year without Facebook. The pastor explained tonight that boundaries change actions, but the word (the Bible) corrects the heart. Ahhhh yes! This is much like my revelation the other day in my post called It's Your Choice when I spoke on the fact that the credit for the change within me since getting rid of Facebook does not go directly to the fact that I got rid of Facebook. Losing Facebook happened to be my catalyst, but the problem isn't with the action (being on Facebook) so much as the problem is with the heart. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that everything about social media is good by any means, but the strongest conviction for getting off Facebook was due to my time wasting not the downside to social media as a whole. Back to boundaries... Boundaries will not fix us he explained tonight. I can put a boundary up of never being on Facebook again or using any form of social media, but if it wasn't for me really doing some self-examining and finding the root of this problem being more about my time management and self control then I could easily just make another addiction out of something else that comes my way. Say blogging perhaps. haha. Whatever we invest in now, we will become. Fascinating.
1 Timothy 5:13 says, "Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not." This verse also spoke to me as I went testing my theory. It reminds me of my time spent on Facebook... I always felt too busy to get important things done, yet I was hardly doing important things at all. As we go clicking from page to page gossip can happen so easily.
So, after testing my theory of the Lord putting it on my heart to give up Facebook for a season of time, I think my answer was obvious.
I'm wondering now if the outcome of a "word from God" or an "answered prayer" brings you closer to your husband, your children, your family and most importantly closer to the Lord how could it not be from Him? Maybe I'll have to ask my pastor about that one. Until then, I am just more and more thrilled to be on this journey for a year. My dad's words could not have rung more true for me today. My change on the outside of getting off Facebook definitely meant a change on the inside and so far, without sounding prideful, I think this change on the inside is a positive one. ♥