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Scrolling Versus Living

Sometimes, I get so caught up scrolling through my social media accounts and reading the top Tweets it’s a little embarrassing. It’s as if I’m afraid I’ve missed something, so I have to make sure I catch up. I scroll through endlessly, looking at the top news stories and the trending videos and the pictures of my friends doing awesome things — and I lose track of time. Which, in itself, probably isn’t a bad thing from time to time. However, sometimes, I am scrolling through and I lose track of something else. I forget that social media isn’t real life.

With all the negativity, the divisive comments and other ugly things you can find on these platforms, which is second only to the need we all feel to present our “best life” at all times – it can get confusing on what really matters. It can sometimes feel like no one is getting along, no one can work together and if you aren’t posting flawless, filtered selfies every minute – then what are you really doing with your life?!

But friends, at the end of the day, those things aren’t entirely true. Sure, there is horror and terror in the world. There are bad things out there that we should be aware of. And, yes, a selfie of you when you’re feeling beautiful is not a bad thing. But we cannot forget that there are also good things in this world and we are not only worth the selfies and Instagram posts that we make.

Forgive me, I couldn’t find a verse where Jesus talks about social media. (Saying that, I wonder what it would have been like if he had a Twitter account.)

However, I did find this Proverb about our hearts, which I think is relevant: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

We cannot forget that what we feed our hearts with is what we begin to believe. That is where everything else flows from. (In the NIV translation, it says as much: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” We have to keep an eye on what we let into our hearts – whether it is anger, lust, judgement or things that make us feel as if we are not measuring up to some false standard.

That is not real life. That is not proper food for our hearts. Jesus said, when he was being tempted by Satan in the desert in Matthew 4:4, “‘It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Perhaps I have missed something in all those wasted minutes of scrolling – maybe I’ve been missing the words that I am supposed to live by. Perhaps, I have not given my full attention to God and His Word while I’ve been distracted by the words on my screen. What a loss, indeed.

Dear readers, I am not saying that Social Media is bad or trying to connect it to the temptation Jesus faced in the desert – but I am saying that it might be good to cut back on how wrapped up we are on these platforms. Maybe, instead, we can delve into the Word of God and renew our minds. Maybe we can look around at our friends and our communities and take notice of the amazing things that are happening there. Maybe we can spend more time with our family members and loved ones and show love and kindness to our neighbors. Maybe we can look in the mirror and know that we are loved by an awesome God who sent his Son to save us from our sins. Maybe we can discover that God doesn’t see us through any filter but the love that He has for us. And maybe we can become aware that He has seen even our most broken, horrific moments and He loves us anyway.

If I’m writing this for anyone, it is for me — because I surely needed to hear these things and I need to practice them in my own life.

Maybe it’s time I put my phone down, stop scrolling and start living the life God has called me to.

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