Saturday, April 04, 2015


I usually give up Diet Coke for Lent.  It's good to get it out of my system and rewire my tastebuds when drinking Diet Coke gets habitual.  But this year I decided to try something a bit harder.  I gave up Facebook (for the most part, though I did post a prayer request and look up some recipes).

And it has been hard.  Surprisingly hard.  I hadn't realized how often I check in on FB.  I compulsively reach for the phone as soon as my alarm goes off and scroll through my feed as I get ready to start the day.  I scan it while helping Nate with school, while waiting in line at the grocery store, while sitting at stoplights, etc.  I am always on.  And I am always distracted from dealing with the empty spots in my life.

I have holes in my life that need to be filled with Christ.  I have feelings that need to be dealt with and destructive thought patterns that need addressing.  But when I'm constantly distracting myself with social media I can avoid the hard work of facing my loneliness head on.  I can find solace in online friendships and avoid seeking interaction with friends here in Texas.  I can pretend to be in community while isolating myself in real life.

But most importantly, I can avoid the soul-searching, life-changing encounters that Christ wants to have with me.  I desperately need to be still and let Him reveal things to me about my life and my heart,  But that is uncomfortable, and I crave comfort.  So I slap on the balm of mindless entertainment, and I ignore the anxiety and fear and despair that He wants to heal.  I pretend to be too busy to pray, when in reality I am too frightened to allow Him real intimacy.  I gladly trade intimacy with Him for amusement with the masses.  And I wonder why I still feel empty and anxious at the end of the day.

I'm not saying FB is bad or that I won't continue to use social media.  But like anything else, it can become an idol for me.  A substitute for what I really need and what I was really created for.  I seek comfort when I really need the Comforter.  So I'm coming out of Lent determined to use social media rightly.  As a tool, not as an idol.  And I pray God grants me the grace to bravely seek Him, even when it is uncomfortable to see what my heart really looks like.

What idols are in your life?  What substitutes have you been using to avoid intimacy with Christ?