Summary: Message about choosing the right people to connect with.

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facebook was created to help you share and connect with the people in your life. One of the concerns people have when being on-line is security. How secure is the information that I am putting out there? I want to share and connect with those in my life, but not share all this information with those not in my life. I was actually talking to someone last Sunday about that. This person’s sister, I think, had her identity stolen, so they were hesitant to put information onto internet places like facebook. It is a very real concern and something to check into.

facebook has a couple of features that offer some information on their security. They have a facebook security page which offers updates on how to be safe on facebook. There is also a tab that shares their desire to be as safe as possible. They also have a policy that says, if someone finds a security vulnerability and shares that with the company they will not press criminal charges. So if you got into some information you were not supposed to and let them know how. They would say thank you for letting them know and they would fix the problem. Instead of accusing you of doing something illegal. They would rather know of the problem then let it remain there.

facebook also has a safety page that you get to through the Help Center. Here you can see safety tips for general use, parents, educators, teens, and law enforcement. It recommends never giving your password out to others. There are also sections about on-line bullying and what do if someone you don’t know repeatedly tries to contact you.

After reading some of this information I changed my privacy settings which you control to say if you want anyone to see your information, only your friends to see it, or your friends and anyone that is a friend of theirs to see your information. I had not really paid much attention to it, but noticed the different levels I had. And I figured people that are not my friends do not really need to see my facebook page, so I set everything to friends only.

On-line security issues are important. They keep your information safe and they help keep you safe. To stay safe we have to make choices about whether to use on-line places like facebook, but we also have to decide what information we put on-line and who we allow to see it.

In our Christian faith there are choices we have to make when it comes to who we associate with and who we are connected to as well. You could say these are security issues. There are choices you need to make about who you are connected to in your life. The people you connect to are people you will influence and they are people who will influence you.

This is the focus of this passage from 2 Corinthians. I enjoyed the first part of that passage. Paul says he opened his heart to the people in Corinth. He loved them and now he wants them to be open to him. What I hear Paul saying is, this is not easy to say or easy to hear, but I want you to receive it because it comes out of love. Have you had one of those conversations before? What I am about to say you may not like to hear, but hear it with an open heart.

So I say that to you as well. This idea of choosing wisely who you connect to on facebook or in life can be touchy. You may not like where this leads you, but hear it with an open heart. Pray about it and see where God leads you. Choosing the people you are connected to and especially choosing to disconnect from someone is difficult, but sometimes it is what is needed.

Paul says here, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” How many of you have heard this passage or this idea before? I have heard this connected often to marriage, as in, do not marry someone who is not a Christian. I can see the connection there because you are yoked to your spouse, but this verse is not specifically about marriage. This verse is about any relationship you have.

First we need to look at what being yoked means. A yoke is something used to connect two animals to combine their strength to do work. (SHOW PICTURE OF YOKE.) The two animals together make the work they will do easier on both of them because they will work together. They may be pulling a cart or plowing a field. But they work together.

The picture Paul has in his mind is of two animals yoked together but they are different animals. Normally you would use a yoke for two of the same animals. Two oxen or two horses, something like that. What Paul is warning against is yoking two different animals together. You might just picture a horse and an ox yoked together. What is going to happen? Well, the ox is bigger and stronger than a horse. But the horse is faster. The horse may try to speed up the ox and pull on him, but the ox probably will hold the horse back. They probably would not work well together.

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