HEART CHECK- Is Social Media An Idol?



The other day my best friend told me that she was doing something called Bible Before Phone. She could tell by the look on my face that I had absolutely no idea what she meant. She began to explain that when her alarm goes off in the morning, she wants to reach for her Bible, begin her devotionals, and not touch her phone until she was done. My first reaction was "Wow, I'd never do that... but good for you!"


And then I thought about it... I asked myself... Why wouldn't I do that? Is checking my social media that big of a deal for me that I have to do it before I spend time with God?


Yikes.


Like a programmed robot, it's become my default morning routine. Turning over, one eye open, barely awake, scrolling and filling my brain with what seems like perfect photos and updates.


Does that sound familiar to you?


I know I can't be the only one...


I'm embarrassed to even admit to this pitiful habit, but I know that if you bring a sin into the light, then God is able to heal you from it. And this is a sin that I no longer want in my life.


I can only hope to get to the place where God's Word is my first thought...Where prayer and peaceful quietness to be the first thing in my day...Where I long for His gentle whisper above all of the noise in this world...


Mornings with God’s Word in my hand can’t be beaten. I know that because I've had them before... But just like Israel, I'm so quick to forget and just do what's easier in the moment.


Here are some verses I've really been chewing on lately:

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.


Exodus 20:2-5

One of the first commands is to not worship something that is made by human hands! What are we thinking about constantly? What are we talking with our friends about? What do we spend most of our time doing? Social media is definitely up there for me. There is no doubt in my mind that that's an idol. The Lord talks about how over centuries, people have worshipped images and other foreign gods, yet the Bible is very clear that Jesus Christ is the only one that is to be praised.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”


Luke 4:8


When looking at those verses, I can see that I'm so far from where I need to be...If you think you may be too, but you're still on the fence, one of the biggest red flags you will notice if social media is an idol in your life is this:


You care more about what your followers think than about what God thinks.


In Galatians, we see that if our first goal is serving people, then we can't be true followers of Christ. We must consider the things that we are posting and saying on social media. Are we doing things to glorify God or are we doing them to gain the attention of others?


For a long time, I'd honor God in the captions of my posts but not in the content of my posts. I'd post a photo in a bikini and then my caption would be all about Christ and a Bible verse. Give me a breaaaaak.


I have since deleted all of those posts because the Holy Spirit wouldn't quit convicting me (Thank God!), but it's still a struggle for me sometimes. I know what can get me more followers and more likes in a short amount of time... I also know that those things are exactly what God asks me not to do.


If social media wasn't in competition for first place in my heart, it wouldn't be such a wrestle to not post certain things...


So after being fed up with my spirit and flesh at a war, I surrendered to God and took a whole two weeks off of every single social media platform. I prayed and asked God how I could defeat this idol, once and for all.


It's not completely gone yet - but it is getting better!!! And God never starts something that He doesn't complete!


So here's what I did:


  • I got rid of any app that told me who unfollowed me

  • I got rid of all of my analytics apps for my social media channels so I didn't obsess over the numbers

  • I put into practice "Bible Before Phone" too.

  • I take one full 24 hour period off of social media every single week.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in social media and it’s easy to make it a little god in our lives. But if you are feeling a conviction deep in your spirit too, ignoring that can be very dangerous.


Here’s what starts to happen if you do ignore it:

  1. We miss out on life right in front of us.

  2. We start thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought. Or more lower than we should.

  3. We have a skewed perspective of what life should look like. Our mental health will get affected.

  4. We start focusing on the values presented on our social feeds, rather than those we personally hold dear.

  5. We can't hear the voice of God among the thousands of people trying to shove messages in our brain on the internet.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I literally earn a living in the digital world. So much good can come out of social media and our online lives! What I am saying is this: As Christians, we walk a fine line. If we aren't careful and on guard all of the time, then we can develop an idol in our lives and in result, feel really far from God.


Let's Commit To Balance...


Facebook, Snapchat, apps and Instagram are not bad ways to communicate the Gospel or to connect with family and friends. Social media becomes dangerous when we start becoming addicted to it, when we get our source of comfort from it rather than God and when it steals time from relationships and priorities.


Monitor your screen time with me! I try to spend more time with God every single day than I spend on social media. And I know you may be thinking "That's impossible!" but it's really not. Talk to God throughout your day. Read the Bible. Listen to a sermon as you do your thing during the day.


Take one 24 hour period off of your cell phone completely and spend time with your loved ones! My day for that is either Friday or Saturday, depends on the week!


In this highly passionate social media world in which we dwell, let’s make sure that the Most High God not only dwells in our hearts, but that God alone will reign on the throne of our lives!

Let's Stay Connected!

© 2020 by Jonni Nicole Parsons