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“Google is our modern man’s God...you trust Google more than any entity in your history” - Scott Galloway, author of The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
Where do you turn when you need help? When you are struggling? When you need to relieve the burden of a secret from your shoulders — and from your soul?
In the past, you would confide in someone you trusted, or you would take that “deep dark secret” to the grave. Today, there’s a third option: Google.
Searching for Answers
The internet is changing the way we access information, seek advice, and, ultimately, think. But it goes even deeper than that.
We turn to the search engine more than we turn to our fathers, our mothers, our friends, our spiritual leaders. It’s not just secrets; it’s everything. Fifteen percent of all Google queries are new; they have never been searched before.
We are asking questions about the meaning of life. About purpose. About our reason for living. We send that query into the universe and hope to get an answer we trust. Google is becoming our Saviour.
But What Is Google Saying?
Let’s say you are struggling with thoughts of killing yourself, and you turn to Google. What do you find?
In less than a half a second, over 33,000,000 websites appear; the sheer amount of information often leaves us feeling overwhelmed, confused, and helpless. It can be difficult to weed out the helpful from the hopeless from the harmful.
Some websites offer support numbers and resources. Some provide tips for dealing with suicidal thoughts or offer online counseling. Some tell stories of people who have attempted suicide and want to help you make it through this rough patch. These are ideas and conversations that can change you.
But among those 33,000,000 websites, you will also find instructions on how to kill yourself. You’ll find the “easiest and most painless ways” to commit suicide. You’ll find people telling you there is nothing to live for and to go ahead.
Unfortunately, the Church is generally 15-20 years behind in terms of understanding and leveraging technology. When people have serious problems, questions, doubts, and secrets that could be helped by the Good News of Jesus, the Church’s voice is largely absent online.
What About God?
If Google is our god, what role does the true God, Jesus Christ, play in our lives? When we are struggling, do we look to Him for guidance and aid? When the depths of our souls are scarred, do we speak to our Saviour — or do we stare at a screen?
Instead of an answer we can trust, we may find a world of hurt, confusion, and loneliness when we substitute Google for God. We can mistake information for wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). Google is an exceptional resource when we need information; when we need wisdom, then Jesus is, was, and always will be the answer we need.
Jesus is well-acquainted with suffering and he intimately knows our hearts and desires. Google will provide the answers you want. Jesus will give you what you truly need.
It’s time to wake up. Look around. Ask the hard questions: who is my ultimate source of truth? Where do I turn do when life is crumbling around me? Do I only listen for what I want to hear or what I need to hear?
Google is great. God is greater. Let’s change our postures, rethink our priorities, and put Google and God in their right place.
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