“You shall have no other gods before me.” –Exodus 20:3
I was in a really bad place. My spirit was off, my mood was bothered, and I felt spiritually unfulfilled. It’s as if a ungodly poison was flowing through my spiritual veins. I felt so empty… spiritually lost. I asked myself, “Why do I feel this way? What has been planted within me to give birth to these feelings? The feelings of insecurity, jealousy, anger…when and where was their genesis?” As I cried out to the Lord, His Word pierced my heart and dissected each emotion to its core root. I placed myself under God’s powerful microscope. His expert revealing skills caused me to do a true introspection of myself. I was able to see my heart and my life for what it really was. I had a god in my life that had a stronghold on me. This god was refusing to be dethroned. A stronghold. The true God and I both knew who he was. He was a god that camouflaged himself with good intentions. He appeared to be innocent, small, no big deal, not a god at all. With craftiness he skillfully had woven himself into every aspect of my life. I lived my life through him. I often sought self approval through him. My life was completely consumed by him. I consistently gave of myself to him, only to get no return on my investment. The more I indulged in him, the more my feelings of emptiness increased. I knew I could no longer please God with him on the throne of my heart. The god of social media was unworthy to reign in my heart because God had created it for Himself and Himself alone. The god of social media had to be dethroned by someone that was more powerful than him.
I was so unhappy, unfulfilled, and lost when he was ruling my heart. The dark state of spiritual emptiness… loneliness… the need of God’s divine presence in my life. I had to make a change. For a child of God, the most difficult thing to do is self-examination with a pure heart towards God. My first step was to sit down and list all the ways social media had consumed and ruled my heart. Below, I have listed those 7 things that let me know that the god of social media was running my life.
1. It was the first thing I looked at when I woke up and the last thing I looked at before going to bed
Would you believe me if I said there have been many days that as soon as I woke up I went straight to my phone and checked my social media accounts? Yes! Didn’t even say my prayers or thank the Lord for waking me up I just went straight to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to read the latest on my news feed. Sad I know. Here I am, claiming to be a lover of Jesus, faithful Christian, true child of the King, an example to others, yet social media had become the god who ruled my life. It consumed me. I was more concerned about what was going on in the social media world, than what was going on in God’s Word. Many nights I would fall asleep scrolling through my news feed. Every image, post, like, or comment was always the last thing I saw before I slumbered. I literally meditated on social media…day and night.
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” –Psalm 1:1-2
2. I couldn’t go a couple of hours in a day without being on social media
There would be moments where I wasn’t even trying to open up a social media app, yet my fingers would habitually go there. Crazy right?! I couldn’t even go an hour let alone a few hours without looking at my news feeds or checking my messages. It didn’t matter whether I was at work, at home, even at CHURCH! Seriously…it consumed me and controlled me. And, if I went to a place that didn’t have wifi, I would go to all cost to get some type of internet connection. Social media was literally EVERYTHING TO ME.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”- Joshua 1:8
3. I let others comments or non-commenting about me on social media dictate how I felt about myself
There would be days that if I posted something and I didn’t get the response I liked, I literally would began to feel insecure. There would be days that I would post something whether it be a picture, video, or a status and it received positive responses, then I would feel good about myself. Whenever the responses were good, Satan cheered me on and watched me as I began to be lifted up in pride. Sad I know.
“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please god who tests our hearts.”- 1 Thessalonians 2:4
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
4. I used social media to check on my friends and other relationships in my life verses actually spending quality time with them in person
Do you remember the days before social media existed? The days when people actually spent quality time together rather than messaging and tweeting one another. Remember the days when you would spend a whole day with a friend you didn’t take selfies, post, or check a post. You enjoyed being in the presence of one another and the richness of your conversation. Yes, I know, this concept now seems foreign. I have been guilty of using social media as a means to try to sustain a friendship. I would quickly view my friend’s posts, see what they were doing, respond, and think that we were good. (DECEIVED) A true and sustaining friendship requires spending time together in order to develop a real intimacy that can endure the storms of life, lasting a lifetime. Our friendships suffer because we use social media as a means to try to sustain them.
“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” –Hebrews 10:24-25
5. I allowed social media to plant seeds of jealousy and insecurity
Anything that has the power to control your mood or thoughts has the potential to become a god in your life. There are times I would scroll down one of my news feeds on social media and instantly become jealous or insecure. I would allow what I would see to affect my mood. For example, if I saw a group of friends hanging out and I wasn’t there, Satan would use it to make me feel left out. Honestly, there were times I would feel jealous just because I wasn’t there. Let’s be watchful of how Satan can use social media to plant ungodly seeds within our minds that are not necessarily true. Remember, he is the master of deception. And then, let us make sure that we do not post things with the intent to provoke jealousy in others. God knows the heart and we know ourselves.
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.” – James 3:14-15
6. I would only post my HIGH LIGHT REEL
I’ll be the first to say, I’ve been guilty of only posting my “high-light reel.” I would mainly post things on social media that made my life “appear” to be great (happy, joyous moments) when that wasn’t always true. Some days, I would literally be on the verge of an emotional breakdown but, if you went to my social media pages you would not have a clue. I was afraid of what people would think if they knew I was a spiritual mess at times, outright struggling! Too proud to ask for prayer. Hmph! It seems like we live in a generation where real authentic transparency is frowned upon. Nobody wants to let others know their low moments in life. It’s all about making ourselves look good, even if you’re not. It’s called FAKING.
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” -2 Cor 11:30
7. I spent more time on social media than I spent with God
Whew! This is a big one for me. It pains me greatly as I presently write this blog, when I think about the hours, and days I wasted on social media (tears) when I could have that time in God’s Word. Pause with me for a moment and take it in. Let’s say it out loud together, “I have been guilty of spending more time on social media than with God.” In order to quit, we must first admit. Many days I would make excuses to God and say things like, “I’m too busy today to study your word right now, you know I have a lot going on.” Yet, I had to time to check my Instagram, Facebook, and respond. Really? How backwards was I? It’s not that I didn’t have time to spend time with the Lord, I just didn’t do it. Social media became more important to me than reading God’s word. It was the god of my life. (tears)
“Study to show yourself approved unto to God. A worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” -2 Tim 2:15
So here’s what I did..
To Be Continued…
In the next blog I will post the solution to what I did once I realized the awful truth and how God delivered me from a god that I thought I could never overcome. Stay tuned next Tuesday to find out the solution to dethroning the god of social media!