Is Social Media Destroying My Faith?

I recently heard that Americans spend an average of 3.4 hours per day on their smartphones. 3.4 HOURS! When I figured out that most of us sleep 8 hours and have 16 waking hours that means we are spending about 25% of our day on our phones.  My question to you my friend is how much of those 16 hours are we spending with God?

Social media has become such a big part of our day watching others.  It’s like we are sitting at our living room window watching others play outside. We see the fun things they are doing while we wonder how we can make our lives like theirs.  We seem to forget that pictures  for posts have filters and angles that flatter and rarely is the first picture taken the one that is posted.  Also no one puts their dark moments on Facebook or Instagram unless they are looking for sympathy, prayers or shock value.

Here is a great and quick video that may help you look at yourself and your smartphone.

I made a conscious decision 2 years ago to spend at least an hour and a half a day in spiritual growth.  I swore off reality TV, news, cut back on social media, unfriended negative people so I wouldn’t see them on my news feed.  I began taking small passages of the Bible to read daily to begin to learn the language of the Bible.  I wanted to live a better quality of life and unfocused on outside influences. I am the type of person that jumps in with both feet so don’t be intimidated by the amount of time I do daily, try fifteen minutes if you want to start.

NASA sent a man to the moon with technology that consisted of a mainframe computer with a 5MB hard drive.  IPhones can now have 256GB of memory. There are 1024MB in one gigabyte to put that in perspective for you.  Do you realize the power of what you hold in your hand?  Are you using it for good or evil?

You know, when I was younger there were no cell phones and we only had a few TV channels.  The only negative influences were the evening news that ran at 5 pm and 10 pm, not all day long and gossip.  Gossip was they only way to spread negative things about others and it was by word of mouth mostly.  There was a game when I was young called “telephone”.  You sat in a big circle and the first person would say something like, “Bugs Bunny is a good friend of Porky Pig.” into the person’s ear sitting next to them and each person passed on that message.  We soon learned that each time it was told to another person it became more distorted just like gossip.  The last person would have to say what they heard and it usually ended up something like this.  “Hugs and honey is  good with figs”.  This is nothing like the original message, same with gossip.

When you are on your smartphone you are wasting precious time.  The time wasted works out to be about 24 hours-one full day per week or eleven years of your life.   Now I know some of that time is googling addresses or checking your bank balance but that is a small percentage.  Proverbs 12:11 says,

“Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies have no sense.”

This clearly shows that God wants us to work productively and not waste time on meaningless things.

Another downside to social media is it draws us into the world’s value and not what God teaches us.  You constantly have your phone with you and on average people check their phones every 12 minutes, that’s at least 5 times in a waking hour or 80 times a day.  This gives others to opportunity to persuade your thoughts.  How many people do you know that use Facebook to bait you to get you to react and ignite?  MANY!

Since the onset of the internet it has been a joke that if it is on the internet it has to be true.  We all know that no one censors internet posting and a very small percentage of posts are truthful or accurate.  Remember what I told you about my childhood game called telephone?  Social media is today’s game of telephone.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I have quoted this verse multiple times but it needs to be repeated over and over.  The world’s values are pleasure, greed and pride.  God’s values are found in Galatians 5:22-27

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

The last thing I want to mention about social media is that it pulls us into the temptation to compete with others and brag.  We post and sit with baited breath waiting for the LIKES to appear and when they don’t we shrink in unworthiness.  We don’t need to seek acceptance on Facebook or Instagram.  We find acceptance with God.  He made us specifically the way He wanted us to be.

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

I do want to let you know that there are many good things you can do on social media if you can untangle yourself from your news feed. First remove or snooze the negative posters.  The people that are always posting about sensational events, tragedies, or other unhappy people.  Just doing this I guarantee will make your social media experiences better.  Try it, snooze those people for 30 days and I guarantee you will know when the snooze expires and you begin to see them again.

When you have  a cleaner news feed, then make a point of complimenting five others on their wall.  Tell them how great they are, how pretty they look, praise them for a goal they have recently reached or just bless them with a cute GIF.  Keep it positive for your souls and theirs.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Using social media to express your faith is also a beautiful way to make a negative a positive.  On our Facebook page Grateful gratitude every morning we have a scripture meant just to show our faith and to lift others.

https://www.facebook.com/gratefulgratitude/

I am proud I have accepted Jesus as my Savior and living in God’s Word and I want to share that with the world and with Facebook I can do that.  There are people on the other side of the world reading the words I have learned from the Bible, posted and are responding positively showing their faith too!  We are building a stronger more faithful world with others because of the connection of Facebook.

Proverbs 20:15

Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

The last way I would like to encourage you to use social media for is to share your witness.  Let other people know the peace you have received from God.  I know my life has changed completely by not focusing on my news feed and focusing on sharing God’s Love with others.  Jesus said, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20  Jesus had to walk the land to reach people, we can use our computers and smartphones to reach the world.  It is said we have it easier now to be a disciple than those 2,000 years ago because of the power in our hands.

As I close I hope you will take to heart what I said about using social media for God’s Work and the evil it can create.   I try to live by the quote from Mahatma Gandhi

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

All my love and gratitude for you-LoLo

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