Who's Loving You?
This article marks the end of #SocialMediaSOS (for now!) We hope you have been blessed and equipped by it. Our prayer is that we'd be a steadfast generation of girls, wise about our social media use and confident in the knowledge that we are loved daughters of God. Enjoy it! MP Team x
Social media is amazing for connecting us to people on the other side of the world. It can be a great tool for communication, but it can also be a threat to our relationships.
Research has shown that in person-to-person relationships, we tend to take up 35% of the conversation talking about ourselves. On social media however, this number doubles. We can’t ignore the stats; social media makes us self-obsessed. Who hasn’t written and rewritten, filtered and re-filtered posts to present themselves in the best possible light. I know I have! Sadly, this kind of behaviour betrays our hearts...
We become what we worship.
How do we know what we worship? One way to find out is to think about what your mind naturally drifts to when you’re unoccupied. What is the first thing you want to do each morning and last thing you do each night?
Why do the nations say “where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak... hands, but cannot feel… nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
We all worship something, and if that something is not God, then it’s an idol. Maybe we don’t melt down gold to make statues, but making an idol simply means taking something created and treating it as though it’s a god. This directly contradicts Jesus’ teaching:
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39)
Last week we talked about our need for social validation. Well, I notice that the more time I spend on social media, the quicker I am to fall into the trap of seeking validation through my followers. This leads me to paint myself in such a way that will make people love me, rather than thinking about how I can love them better.
Scrolling through social media also distracts me from my immediate circumstances and often blinds me to the needs of the people around me. When I’m engrossed in my phone I miss opportunities to do God’s will and love my neighbour.
Social media is changing the way we relate to people. Some of the younger generations are already more uncomfortable with face to face interactions and less familiar with eye-contact and physical touch. Cyberbullying too has become a serious issue because it much easier to inflict pain online, where people are removed from the consequences of their actions*.
🤷 So, where do we go from here?
First, we must be honest with ourselves. Is loving God our top priority? And how well are we loving our neighbours?
🙏Confess any part of your life that isn’t in line with God’s will and ask him to help you change. God’s reckless love is the only thing that will change us.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws - Ezekiel 3 6:25-27
👧🏾👧🏻👧 When you’re spending quality time with people or God, put your phone on flight mode.️ Put it somewhere out of reach and out of sight. Would anyone know you believe in Jesus if they looked at your profile?
⛪ As society becomes more individualistic and personal interactions become rarer, go to church! Meet with people who aren’t like you; it’s ok if it’s a bit uncomfortable. Church should be diverse in age, background, profession, but united in Christ!
‘Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching’ (Hebrews 10:25)
*If you have had personal experience of cyberbullying and have some concerns about this issue, please speak to someone you trust, or contact More Precious and we can help you find the support you may need.
Hatty moved to London last year to work with the Christian Union at City, University of London. Her weeks are full of meeting up with students, studying a bit of theology, training for the London marathon and preparing to get married in August!