Engaging Culture [Social Media]
Ephesians 1:4-5 “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
Before we move on to the impact of Social Media there is one important aspect of humanity that we must mention. What’s important to understand is that each and every person, if reduced to our most basic nature, is the same:
- We all are created with this primal need to be loved (to be wanted, to be accepted, to be in a loving family).
- And from the moment we are born we begin a search to fill this ‘gap’ in our hearts.
- We try and fill this desire using all sorts of fixes (alcohol, drugs, gangs, dress, sports, friends, sex, music, the internet, Facebook, clothing, even abuse).
- These things may feel good for a moment, but soon they leave us just as empty as before – but more helpless because we become more aware of our emptiness and more desperate for a newer, better fix – and so what begins as a quick fix ends in an addiction, a pattern of self-destructive behavior, and BROKENNESS.
Let’s look at what Facebook uses to ‘fix’ our problem and capture our hearts (this information is courtesy of Thought Pick):
- The Desire to compare – it satisfies our desire, or even need, to compare ourselves to others
- The Curiosity Factor – it satisfies our need-to-know need
- The Bordom Factor – it entertains us (games, apps, music)
- The Jealousy Disease – provides a perfect platform for solving jealousy issues (through stalking)
- The Loneliness Factor – you can comment, post, message, or like anything and this cure your loneliness.
- The Ache to Belong – it exploits your ache to belong through by convincing you are a part of a community of people who really care.
Yes, Facebook has some benefits (maintaining relationships with friends & family far away, sharing photos/thoughts/experiences with others) but it can easily become the thing we worship (our idol or object of affection) because of the feelings it gives us. The truth is that it falls hopelessly short of filling that love gap, but the devil will use it to distract you from the TRUE love of your life – God! God’s love is the only love that will ever satisfy our hunger, cure our loneliness, and comfort our soul. Why? Because He created us and He knows us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139).
If you’re trapped in lure of Social Media, and are living in this superficial reality, I’d like to comfort you and remind you that we have all been there before. I was, at one stage, alienated from God’s love and living a life full of temporary fixes. Until I met Jesus and I experienced the love that He has for me. It changed my life then, and continues to change my life each and every day – because His love endures forever (Psalm 136:1).
Today, know that you are not just a face on a computer screen. You are a child of God (Ephesians 1:4-5) and are loved deeply. Tomorrow we’ll talk more about how we can experience that love (for a hint check out Romans 5:5).