4 Reasons To Take Spiritual Breaks From Facebook

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 7.48.55 PMIt was only a two-month hiatus from Facebook. The plan was to take a break and relax at the [metaphorical] beach. I would sip on pina coladas while my mind was cleared from all the cutter Facebook brings. Everything was fine the first week. Soon enough, to my shock, I began to notice that I was not quite at the beach, as I presumed. I then realized that the beach and pina coladas were a mirage. And so, for the next 8 weeks, it turned out that God had me in a dry desert so that he could wrestle with me about some deep things in my life that I had not noticed beforehand.

Sure, God could have told me what he wanted without leading me off Facebook and into a lonely desert. Still, sometimes the volume of distraction is too loud for us to hear Him. Sometimes we need silence. Sometimes we need to be led out into a dry season. No one enjoys the desert, and rightly so. There are times in the desert when all you hear is your own darkness, Satan’s calling, or worse…nothing at all. However, it is in those places that God can work on us and mold us into better soil. God did a good work on me in the desert. I did not enjoy it for a second, ha. But I was humbled and it was good.

In that time of silence He also allowed me to take a step back so that my eyes would be a little further opened into the subtle nuance of toxicity that Facebook and social media carry. Funny, because we almost need it just to survive in the modern world. But remember, Satan is always at work accomplishing his goals. Through both small and large means:

1) Facebook Can Give You an “I am God” Complex

Since society can date back, three components have had the largest impact on connecting and shrinking the world: Communication, Travel, and Technology. There is much good that streams from these three avenues. Facebook, although while yielding similar positive outcomes, gives us so much knowledge of others and a more holistic view of our surroundings that it makes us feel “bigger” than we are. Facebook gives us a false sense of omniscience and omnipresence.

This directly clashes with what we’ve known historically and even today. Our bodies, the natural world, and the Bible have constantly shown us how small and finite we truly are. All the while Facebook puts everything at our fingertips. I can find out where the grandparents of my friends live and who my old high school girlfriend is dating now. What was defined as stalking 25 years ago is now a regular stint on a cell phone app. We can find out almost anything about anyone anywhere. Do you not think this sense of power has crept into our spirit or Spirit? It is hard to worship God when you have an elevated opinion of yourself. Humility is steadily becoming a foreign concept. Soon we’ll have to visit museums just to see it.

Our confidence should be in the Lord not in ourselves (Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 44:6).

2) Facebook Gives a False Sense of Meaning

The human heart always searches for fullness and meaning. It’s a natural progression that we continually strive for no matter the obstacle. Even someone who commits suicide is looking for fullness because they believe that there is a state they can be in that is better than their current state. We search for fullness everywhere but can never seem to achieve that satisfaction so we always go on to the next best thing in line.

You can try to find fullness in something or someone, but it will ultimately fail you. Luckily most of the time there will eventually be clear evidence of this case.

The deadly thing about Facebook is that its failure to satisfy is extremely unclear. Facebook has an infinite amount of sectors to possibly make us happy for a while. With so many options we’ll continually go from page to page, video to video, event to event looking for the “next thing”. The scary realization is that we can literally go on and on surfing through Facebook without ever hitting a dead-end. “Hmm, ok I didn’t reach 100+ Facebook likes with that picture, lets try another one that I’ll post at this particular time when most people are active.” We believe that if we could get a few more likes then what doesn’t satisfy us will finally satisfy us. Weird.

We have become a society who, instead of viewing meaning outwardly, has turned into finding meaning within ourselves and our own abilities and what we achieved and in doing so we have slowly forgotten that we do not stand as Ultimate.

This ends in weakening our view of friendship and love. There is a serious lack of depth and root. Thus our framework of how God carries out His love for us and how our relationship with Him should look is weakened as well.

3) Facebook Draws An Aroma of Negativity

From political posts to social posts … Darkness lingers via different sources. It is tiring and exhausting to see debates and arguments carried out online. With an increase in societal issues and political shifts, we are constantly bombarded with hot topics that many people who suddenly think they have PhD’s on the matter feel the need to comment on. Your Facebook feed sadly becomes a wall of illogical reasoning that is filled with emotional bias and slander.

From jealous whispers to pictures of superficiality … On a daily basis we are called into a world of discontentment. Social media has traces of a popularity contest which ostracizes and cause depression. Comparison robs us of joy. That negativity can build if we do not take a break and treat those thoughts. Otherwise we can end up in an emotional prison robbed of purity.

4) Worst of All, Facebook Can Hinder God From Speaking to You.

47% of all Internet users are solely on Facebook. Entertainment is one of Satan’s favorite substitutes for joy. With quietness and alone time God is better able to speak to you. It is not a simple a + b = c equation just to get God on your personal Snapchat. But if we put ourselves under the umbrella of His presence and His Word then it allows us the opportunity to truly hear from Him. Facebook is a loud tool that has the ability to keep the volume on high if we allow it the power. It is not hard for Satan, once he grabs a foothold, to keep that volume increasing until you quirt God altogether.

We all have struggles, fears, addictions, pride, idolatry, doubts, depression and stress; we are all broken … but we need quality time with God for Him to be able to clean some of that “junk” out. As an old pastor once said, “Many people want to be good but no one wants to be holy. The holy live in eternity… all others live in time.”

Let us be watchful. Some of you may not even relate to the desert. Some of you relate and have been in the desert for months. Some for years. John the Baptist was in a lonely desert for 20 years with God, then preached from 6 months, and Jesus called him the greatest man to ever live! This concept of Facebook is very easy to miss. I had to learn the hard way until God shook me. I speak as a dying person speaking to other dying people. There is a partial element to Facebook that is a silent, life-sucking toxic environment that will trap you in boredom and, in turn, limit the potential that God desires you to have. Let us be watchful.

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Hebrews 12:1b – Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

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AMA: Attractive Mothers Anonymous

All mothers, with the exception of my mother, are gorgeous. It is a universal truth, more or less, that the elegance of a mother blinds the retinas of angels. Beauty buoyantly flows over the earth and retires downward onto the hearty lap of a mother. In similar tone, but in slight contrast … my mother is one gorgeous hot tamale!! My Karen. “Kal-Kal” – as her high school cohorts used to call her. For the record, that’s such a weird nickname for someone that won Homecoming Queen. But of course, it was the 70’s and everything was weird (The Rocky movies were so cheesy).

My mother would flourish if she grew up in this generation. She would probably have over a thousand followers on Twitter. On her birthday, a plethora of her girl friends would post Instagram photos of her on their own accounts just to give my mother birthday love. She would post new Facebook statuses and hundreds of people would “Like” it. She would experience greater educational advances, career opportunities, breakthrough technology, medical advances, and better movies. She could get on eHarmony and fall in love with my dad all over again. My bet is that Kal-Kal would have gone to a fancy university, hopefully Clemson University. In a cliché but simple tagline ….. “My mother would rule the world”.

 

When recently bringing this revelation up to my mother, she insisted that she would still prefer to have grown up in the time period of the 1970’s. She claims that today’s society has a deeper level of superficiality, narcissism, violence, and materialism. After I reiterated the powerful opportunities that she would be gaining, she still stood with the 1970’s. Her mother – my grandmother – was asked a similar question. Growing up in the 1930’s versus the 1970’s; It is obvious of the lack of opportunities that faced my grandmother. She even went on to say that her family was poor and everyone around them was poor. However, even as she is sill tangibly reminiscent of all she went through, she prefers to grow up again in her own time period. Her reasons were because the young people of the 70’s were more superficial, focused on completion, and craving material.

One may argue that past generations tends to romanticize theirs and criticize the ones after it. Here is the thing about that: My grandmother would have to be a fool to attempt to romanticize being a female AND living in the pre-civil rights era. What most of the older generations (religious or nonreligious) are trying to say is that everything – material, careers, economy, powers, fashion, money, music, tastes, health, family, friends – fades away. Life is hard and difficult and no one controls it. No one controls it. Therefore there is no sense in craving to live in an alternative generation. It cannot be escaped.

What matters is the soul. What matters is the direction the soul is pointing. A soul that points inward is useless. What matters is community that you can grow in Christ-like love with. For my mom to focus on having a thin, teenage body and being Homecoming Queen again would be a wasteful goal. What my mother, grandmother and Bible are inexplicitly stating is this:

Want to conquer social media?  It is insatiable and a psychological hindrance.

Want to escape violence?  There will always be evil.

Want a higher paying job?  Money doesn’t bring eternal joy.

Want to do hot yoga & the Paleo diet?  Your body will still inevitably betray you.

Love music?  Songs become repetitive; i.e. Pharell’s hit song “Happy”

Want more friends?  Friends will eventually let you down.

Want a spouse?  A chunk of marriage is tough and stressful.

Want to be single?  A chunk of singleness is lonely and stressful.

Ageing

To be clear, it is not that any of those things are bad. It is more so that Life has taught them that their body is the only body they’ll ever have. Their mind is the only mind they’ll ever have. Externals fade. Therefore, for the believer, the end goal is the kingdom of Heaven and eternity with Jesus. Everything else – good or bad – fall to the waist side. Life is short and our time on earth is like dwindling grass … we must realize that we do not have enough time to focus on externals (James 4:14, Psalm 103:15-16, 1 Corin. 7:29-31). Only then can we begin to attain real joy! A merriment that makes the world see Jesus in us.

The Bible will say that individual “generations” are not the problem, but that the problem is the sinfulness of man (Mark 7:20-23, Romans 3:10-12). Knowingly so, no matter when or where we live … there will always be man present. The wise people see that the world is sinful and they themselves are guilty as well. The sooner we throw ourselves onto the grace and mercy of Christ the sooner we are transformed into correctly seeing that all that we have and all that we have been given in a very very different light. Whatever season you are in, be thankful and be ALL there. We should be weary to place our hope in fleeting success, material, or physical appearance. This concept is reflective of 1 Corinthians 10:31 which can be re-worded into this context by saying, “Whether you live in the 1930s, 1970s, 2000s, or 1400s, do life to the glory of God.”

I’m traveling home for the Independence Day. I will get to see me precocious 4 year-old nephew for the first time in almost 5 months. I’m beyond excited. He is my best friend. So there will be a ton of hugging and laughter. He’s into Spiderman now so I bought him a cool Spiderman toy to make him like me even more, haha. A time is coming when he’s not going to see me as the coolest person in the world anymore. A time is coming when I’m going to look at his generation with an odd look on my face thinking, “Good gosh this new generation is too superficial and materialistic.” Ooh the misconceptions of sin. Touche Satan. Thank God for the scriptures and the revelation of Christ. #boom