Taming the Social Media Monster {Distractions, Part 2}

Have you prayed about recognizing any distractions that are negatively impacting your spiritual life? If not, please read THIS POST and then come back.

(Note: Though this post primarily addresses social media, you may be distracted by something entirely different: TV, phone/computer games, novels, constant busyness, etc. This is for you, too!)

For several months I sensed something was off. I felt spiritually blah. My heart felt dull. My prayer life, once a source of deep joy and satisfaction, was rote. And brief. And I truly didn’t want it to be that way.

Thank God for January and the discipline of fasting. Only this year—big surprise—it felt like my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to fast. But out of obedience to the Lord and to support my church and pastor, I committed to fast.

Then I sensed a pull to give up social media in addition to my regular fast. For 21 days. I couldn’t figure out how to do that because I have a Facebook ministry page where I post daily prayers. And I always engage with the precious women there. But in the end I realized I had to obey the Lord no matter the cost.

Are we willing to obey the Lord regardless of the cost?

Community is good. We need each other. Being socially engaged is a good thing, but at what cost? Where do we draw the line? Because the crushing demands of social media availability, etiquette, responding and engaging will eat us alive if we’re not wise and completely led by the Holy Spirit.

The truth is daily choices steer our lives.

With that in mind, here are 7 Keys To Tame the Social Media Monster:

1. Take time to prayerfully evaluate your social media life. Include a time of prayer (and even fasting!) as you consider your schedule, what God may be requiring of you, and what you can realistically balance. Be brutally honest. Is God first? I dare you to check your computer history and add up time spent on social media. Shocked? Then move to step two.

2. Acknowledge there might be an issue and that your social media choices have probably interfered with your spiritual life. Social media is like a strong rip current. We swim out and before we know it we’re hundreds of yards from our beach towel on shore. Until we look up, we don’t realize how far we’ve coasted, simply because we allowed ourselves to be carried with the current.

3. Take Charge of Your Time - Just being aware of the need to establish wise time boundaries is a huge step forward. We want to honor God with our lives and be wise stewards of the time He has entrusted to us. Schedule prudent boundaries and ask God for grace to stick to them. Consider choosing only one social media avenue in which to engage (or at least one daily). Consider joining forces with a like-minded friend for accountability.

4. Choose to Put Your Spiritual Life First, No Matter the Cost – Rearranging priorities is not easy, but it’s very doable. And it’s always a choice. Putting God first means He is the first thing you think about in the morning—not Facebook. This means establishing and protecting our regular time for Bible reading, worship, and prayer. Every. Single. Day. Even if that means all our Facebook friends have to wait to hear our exciting news.

5. Understand Your Purpose – (1)To obey God and please Him, not people. Galatians 1:10  (2)To know Him more, Philippians 3:8-9 not know more about what everyone else in the world is doing. (3) To be about the Father’s business Luke 2:49.

6. Schedule Regular BreaksJesus often broke away and went up into the hills to pray. We would be wise to do the same by taking regular breaks from life’s modern expectations and demands. This will give us fresh focus, fresh, balanced perspective, and fresh ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us.

7. Pray – Apart from Him we can do nothing. Ask God to help you break habits that are interfering with your spiritual life. Ask Him to give you a willing heart, wisdom, and grace to walk in balance and self-control. Ask Him to shift your priorities, bring your heart into alignment with His, and to bring the healthy, permanent change He desires.

Please don’t get me wrong—social media is not inherently bad. In fact, a lot of good happens on social media. But if we’re not intentional, focused, and wise, we can end up in a place we never imagined—far from the One we love, spiritually weak, and totally distracted.

With willing hearts, God’s grace, and self-control, we can make wise daily choices that steer our lives in the direction that the Lord desires, that profit us, and that encourage and bless those around us. And we can walk in freedom from the things that entangle us, completely in tandem with Jesus.

Lord, help me evaluate the role of social media in my life. Help me to take charge of my time, put You first daily, understand my purpose and take breaks when appropriate. But mostly, help me to make wise choices that steer my life in the right direction and honor You. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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