I became nearsighted in high school around the time I started using a computer for hours every day at work. I don’t know if there’s a connection between the two. After a quick Google search (ironic!) I learned that the evidence is inconclusive.
But I do know one thing for sure: our online habits can make us spiritually nearsighted. Worse than that, they can make us so nearsighted that we become spiritually blind. That’s what it says in 2 Peter 1:5-9:
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”
The promise of the Internet is that it will open our eyes to new worlds. It is supposed to make us more connected, more efficient, more knowledgable. And it can! But this verse tells us that the opposite can also happen. There is a very real danger that instead of learning more, we may know less. Instead of loving more we may love less. Instead of remembering more we may remember less.
As we stare at our computer screens, we may be going spiritually blind.
So let’s pull out this Scriptural straight edge and measure: Do my online habits make me more or less effective in my knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Do the articles and websites I read online make me more virtuous?
Does the time I spend on Facebook result in more brotherly affection and love for others?
Does my activity on Pinterest make me more self-controled?
Do my tweets help me and others grow in steadfast faith and endurance?
Do my online habits contribute to a greater knowledge of God’s Word?
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, then our Internet use may be making us ineffective or unfruitful in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It may be causing us to forget that we were cleansed from our past sins. With every click and view, we may be going blind to the gospel.