Social media is great. I’m a fan of socialization, and the Internet gives us opportunities to daily connect with many people we may otherwise be unable to.
However, like everything else, it has its drawbacks.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4 ESV)
I know so many people who seek to use social media as a tool of encouragement, a way to share the Gospel and shine a light in a dark world. I’m one of those people. However, lately I’m seeing my tendency to broadcast all the good things I’m doing in order to get Facebook and Instagram likes or new followers on Twitter. Well, if that’s the case, then I’ve gotten exactly what I was after–my earthly reward will be something as frivolous and insignificant as likes and follows.
I’m not honoring those verses by posting everything I do/journal. It started out as a way to encourage people and now it’s mostly a (sometimes subconscious but it’s there nonetheless) “I wonder how many people will like this?” way of thinking. Not exactly a Christ-exalting mentality. People have even told me I’ve inspired them to start doing art journaling and I’ve become too puffed up in my own estimation of that… my favorite thing to do now turned an idol because I put it on display for others.
“We take a good thing and make it into a god thing.” -Whitt Madden
Therefore, following the example of my awesome brother-in-law, I’ve decided to do a social media fast in January. I’ve prayed about it so much and was completely against it (for selfish reasons) at first, but God’s convinced me this is what He wants and now I’m so excited about it! Isn’t it crazy how, when God dissolves our will into His, we realize His ideas are so much better than ours? He makes even difficult commands enjoyable. What love.
What I will be doing instead
I’m excited to read Hunger for God and hopefully other books (finishing The Resolution for Women and starting on another) and strive for holiness with an uncluttered and undistracted mind that would otherwise be focused on Facebook. It (social media) sounds so petty when contrasted with knowing Christ more fully.
The hardest thing for me to give up is going to be Pinterest. To sever the connection to Pinterest will hurt more than all other social mediums combined, which is precisely the reason it must be done. The addictive nature of these sites have latched their talons on me and I’ve let them, but I want to pull the plug on the addiction and run back to my First Love.
“It’s easy to give up the things we like vs the things we love” -Whitt Madden
I’ll continue to blog, I just won’t be tweeting or posting on Facebook or Twitter, so if you want to get the blogs just check back here or on the Treasuring Christ site. You can also sign up to be on the mailing list by clicking the “Follow” button in the lower right hand corner.
What I’m not saying
I’m not saying everyone should take a social media fast.
I’m not saying social media is bad.
I’m not saying there is no grace, nor am I leaning toward legalism. I’m just following what I sense as God’s leadership for my life for this month.
I’m not saying anything other than what God has laid on my heart for the month of January. Do I think this is what everyone should do? Absolutely not. But maybe God wants you to fast from something else? Don’t dispel the idea of fasting altogether when God might want to use it to do something huge in your relationship with Him. Just seek Him and obey Him as He leads you.