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Three Things I Had No Time For

Updated: May 17, 2019

My 30 days off of Social Media

I was going to absolutely loose my dinner, my stomach in knots and my head pounding; my palms sweaty and clammy. Nausea was about to get the best of me; I needed to find the closest restroom. I did not have the stomach flu and I had not eaten anything bad. I had just finished perusing Facebook and a post between fellow Christians was making me physically sick.

How could it have it gotten so bad? It was just shortly after the current POTUS was placed in office and things were UGLY. Now before you get your panties in a wad this is NOT going to be a political post!

My heart just ached for the way I saw people whom I loved on both sides of the issues attacking one another and all I could think of was the scripture in John “They will know us by our love.” How in any way, was this furthering the cause of Christ?

At that point I made a personal decision to step away from social media. It was for my own soul's sake. I soon started getting texts and emails all voicing concern, not necessarily for me, but for their side of the issue.

“Don’t leave, your voice makes a difference”

“We need to be a positive influence on social media”

All I could think, was my voice just added to the NOISE’ and all I wanted was quiet for my soul. The decision was a solely selfish one for sure. I decided for at least 30 days (If not longer) I was going to disengage from all forms of social media. I deleted the apps from my phone so as not to be tempted and I posted a note on the forums I usually engaged in basically saying “peace out”.

I was not sure what the results would be. Much like any fast you go on, and it was definitely a fast, I had no real idea how it would effect me. Social media had become a drug of choice for me. It was an addiction and I do not admit this lightly. It was the first thing I looked at in the morning and many nights the last thing I looked at. Multiple times a day I would grab my phone to check to see what fascinating photo or story I might have missed, and don’t even get me started on how often I would check on my “likes“ of a post or on a photo. Now before you all start judging me, admit it, this describes most of us. Bear with me this is not an anti social media post either. This is me sharing what God did in my life in just a short 30 days.

I learned some things I did not have time for, while on my social media fast.

I had NO TIME for worry.

Every time I went to grab my phone or was tempted to log in on my computer I made the decision to talk to God about what was on my heart. Some times it was just a quick prayer of gratitude for something as simple as a beautiful Arizona sunset (not that any sunset is really simple) or other times I found myself pouring out my heart over a very real concern of a friend who was facing extreme health challenges. Other times it was a general cry of my heart to see the cause of Christ made famous through His people around the globe.

I realized my only frame of reference was not what I had just read, whether in angry tones or accusing tones on Facebook but what I had just read in scripture.

"My dear children let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves." I John 3:18-20 (emphasis mine)

I had NO TIME for jealousy.

I think this was one of the things, which surprised me the most. Because I had no idea who was traveling to where ever or having a fabulous seaside brunch or how many pounds so and so lost I truly had no time for “insta envy”. I know that when we focus on what we don’t have we are susceptible to negative emotions and feelings. It was so freeing to be totally and blissfully unaware of other peoples highlight reels. I became more content with my beautiful life, simple compared to some and exciting compared to others. The beauty was I HAD NO ONE TO COMPARE IT TO. Comparison kills and I knew this but it had become a slippery slope for me. The only one I had to compare myself to was myself and who Jesus said I was.

“That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” Galatians 5:26

I had NO TIME for missed opportunities.

Because I did not know what was going on via social media of many of my precious friends and family I found time to call and chat or better yet have some true facetime. I had time for lunch or coffee. I had time with my sweet friend who came into town unexpectedly. She did not rely on social media to inform me of her presence but sent me a text to set up an actual lunch. We sat and talked and cried and talked and laughed and then we grabbed hands and prayed. Real life giving, perceptive changing, circumstance altering, God breathed prayer.

I slowly have crept back onto social media for various reasons but I have challenged myself to be disciplined and for it be for me to be an encourager, a voice, and hopefully a life, that points to Jesus not just in word but also in deed. Though if I may, for just a moment encourage those who call themselves Christ followers to do this one thing. Hear my heart in this…Love the way our friend Paul put it to the church at Corinth.

“ I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.” I Corinthians 1:10

My hope/prayer is we can cultivate what we have in common and we find we have NO time for worry, jealousy and missed opportunities. That we shine whether on social media, in the line at the grocery store, at work or at play as we re-present Jesus to a hurting and dying world.

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