If you added up all the moments this last week that I spent on Facebook, ALL of them, even the just responding to messages or glancing at an update on my phone- they would exceed the amount of time I spent reading God’s Word.
There. I said it. It is not pretty, and it is 100 % convicting. But, I felt led to share it because I would guess it is the same for many of you.
If I am honest I think it boils down to 3 key factors, at least for me it does… connection, worth, and significance, and where I find these 3 things. Or at least where I think I will find them.
When I am home raising my four kids and muddling through our daily routine I long for all three of those – desperately. And in my immediate lack I turn to Facebook, or email, or other’s blogs looking for it. I go seeking out a quick fix if you will. A new picture on Facebook or a message from a friend. I look to see what some of my favorite blog friends are up to. And while none of this is wrong or bad, it just fills in the space because Facebook, blogs, emails, and twitter can’t bring me TRUE LASTING connection, worth, or significance.
Sure they can squelch that immediate desire, but then it just leaves me hungry for more. And then what happens next is astonishing. My quick fix quickly turns against me flipping the tables into a deeper need that turns to an ache and then the temptation to feel sorry for myself takes over.
How many times have I been out there on my computer looking really just to pass the next 10 minutes or honestly seeking to connect with a particular friend when all of a sudden I am hit by deep feelings of inadequacy. The comparison game begins and what looks on Facebook or some blog to be a flawless life begins to erode my own sense of self-worth. Even though I know what I see isn’t the whole story, it still creeps in… and I am left with feelings of doubt and lack. Like everyone else is doing this or that and everyone else’s kids are this and that…. it could go on and on. Because when I go to social media looking to be filled, I often end up getting filled up with something I wasn’t looking for.
For me, my computer can be a great tool for ministry but it can also be a total time waster if I am not careful. This is not an antisocial media post, because social media can be used for so many life-giving things and has its place in life. But for me the question is what place am I giving it? Do I flip open my screen before I flip open the Word each morning? When I have a moment of quiet time am I spending it with the ONLY one who can REALLY fill me up, or am I squandering my time looking for a counter fit?
The Book, God’s Word, is the only true source of life. And when I invest my spare moments in it rather in at my computer than I am in less danger of getting lost on Facebook, or scrolling through twitter to only come away feeling bad about myself or comparing my family to someone else’s family who looks awfully perfect in their latest blog post.
We live in a Facebook world. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, the internet, I mean whatever you want to call it, it is not a world of quiet book reading and spending time in solitude. It is fast paced and instant. And God is, well, not.
And because of that, because I am used to instant feel better fixes, I find that I have to force myself – discipline myself, to choose HIM. It is much easier to crack open my screen and loose the next 10 minutes looking at everyone else’s life. In fact it may even feel better for a time, because lets face it, when you spend your time looking at others that is less time you have to think about yourself. And escape can feel good.
BUT. When I choose Him, He DOES fill me up. Not the instant, immediate gratification kind of filling. More of the stick with you forever kind. He slowly and lovingly pours Himself into me, shaping me, molding me, speaking hope and life to my weary places.
When I invest my time in His book, it NEVER returns void. And that is a promise I can bank on. Such a better investment of my time than scrolling through endless pages on Facebook or running to grab the phone to post the latest cool thing we are up to. And when I am filled up and living for His approval, not the approval and validation my list of Facebook’s friends or blog readers, I am free to use this world and all that is in it for His glory. So I can pop into Facebook and encourage a friend without getting sucked into it. I can share something God has laid on my heart here on my blog without being driven by how many people will read it or how many followers I have.
In the end when I find connection and worth and significance in Him, than the rest will fall into place. Because He will be leading me. It is just that I, need to be purposeful about seeking it from the right source. Going to where the water is living rather than searching through dry wells. We all have the desire to matter, to make our mark, to be important. And in Christ and to Christ we ALL ALREADY DO. We matter to Him and that should feel better than a thousand strokes of the “like” button.
Will you join me this year and consider taking some of the time you give to social media, blogging, or emails and putting into Him this year? Going to The Book BEFORE you hit Facebook or type that email? To invest where the promised return is more than 100 fold?
I promise you, you won’t be disappointed, for His well never runs dry…