A Discussion on Digital Identity

Get ready for some very thoughtful discussion with our friend, Ayme. Ayme is the sole contributor behind the digital citizenship blog, We Thrive Online. On her site, Ayme shares how your family can live intentionally with technology. Many of her posts come from her own experiences with raising three boys in this technological age. Her posts are thought provoking and give families a place to start this tough discussion surrounding technology.

Opportunities with technology have become more powerful and personal than most of us really imagined. It almost happened overnight, — the internet grew into a sort of melting pot for individuality and collaboration. And now, personalized feeds create online identity for each of us.

As we filter through media, an egocentric mentality sets in. We adjust content for pleasure, and unintentionally, find ourselves spiritually stunned. Spiritually stunned? Yes.

This self-navigated life that we’re growing used to begs for competition with Christ-centered focus. Maybe that sounds extreme, I get it. But let’s at least think about the idea for a minute.

Jesus spoke clearly on this.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.” 1John 2:15a
“The world is passing away. And everything that people want in the world is passing away.” 1John 2:17

Fast-paced consumption with beauty and knowledge reflects awe for what God does, but often fails to recognize who He is. As Christians, we need the right lens. We honor God as more than just a creator. The universe, every bit of it, exists for Him. He is all-powerful. He’s the most intriguing character you’ll ever read about. He’s magical, adventurous, and instantaneous. He created nature’s remedies and is the author of emotion. He’s unpredictable and so gorgeous, our earthly eyes can’t handle His magnificence.

With that, how does our view of reality line up? Consider what kinds of things captivate our culture. The Harry Potter series, for example. — It’s drawn a lot of attention, from people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s beautifully written and very creative, so our fascination makes sense. But weigh in here. How does J.K. Rowling present the spiritual realm? The series clearly entices itself with magic, as if supernatural power is some kind of fantasy. But it isn’t. We long for spiritual things like this, but are we compelled in God’s favor? Jesus Christ himself is magical essence, and we are truly dwelling in a very spirit-filled place.

There is so much to this conversation, but let’s stop here, and ask ourselves, “How can we appreciate digital culture with a secure grip to Christian faith? As our senses challenge to separate truth from fiction, and necessity from desire, here are some ideas to take in.

There are 4 pieces to this puzzle.

Heart Inspection

1 Samuel 16:7 “God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Unaccomplished or over-achieved, God simply looks at our heart. He knitted unique identity into each person. Value is not found in accomplishments, but in our attitude toward them. We should ask ourselves, “Are we seeking fulfillment with modern innovation, or our creator?”

Media Inspection

Constantly checking in about our technology choices is a big deal. How much time are we spending? What are we seeing, hearing, and engaging with…and how are these things affecting our spiritual growth?

Influencers

From media to friends, virtual interaction influences us hugely. Does this mean we should shy away from secular threads and limit our circle entirely to a faith-filled society? I have strong feelings here. Unless you are in season of restoration or otherwise tender, we are called beyond the safety zone. However it looks for you, the balance here has a different fit for everyone.

Accountability & Support

We need it! We need each other! Who is the faith-filled, truth-giving friend that keeps you in line? If you aren’t tied in with someone like that, pray for it. God wants this for us.

This isn’t an easy topic to write about because it’s so personally convicting. In this 21st Century, we’re all struggling for balance with virtual identity. Be encouraged with this. Experiences, mistakes, and achievements do not define a future that is transformed in Him. Keep your eyes fixed on your maker, and He will direct your path.

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This post was written by Ayme Pankratz especially for
the One Story Series at Made For Today.

Read more from Ayme at her blog We Thrive Online.
You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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