I wrote this post for the Young-Wives this week and since I think it is such an important message I wanted to share it with you all here too! Hope you enjoy it!

texting-1490691I was having dinner with a group of friends recently. I adore this particular group of women—we have been friends for almost twenty years now. We started out in a young married Bible Study class together and had the sweetest friendships ever since. We have loved one another through both good times and bad times. Over the course of the past twenty years, we have watched our children grow and have hosted more baby showers and birthdays than I can remember. We have celebrated life and death together, and because of that, we have a very special bond. We talk about anything and everything from husbands to kids to hormones.

These ladies challenge me to be who I am supposed to be and remind me of why it is so important to have authentic real life in person community.

One of my friends told us how she was monitoring the amount of time her children spent on various apps online by checking their phone batteries, and the percentage of time that they devote to each app. My friend realized it was both eye-opening and convicting to see how much time can be spent mindlessly wasted online. Our conversation then turned to something I haven’t been able to get out of my mind:

The unintended consequences of social media and its effects on young people,               especially young women.

Let me just start out by saying I love social media, just as much as the next person. I love posting pictures of things that interest me, looking for inspiration and being able to keep in touch with my friends and family. When I don’t know what to cook for dinner, I love scrolling through Pinterest to see what recipes are trending. Social media can be a source of great inspiration, but if I am not careful, I can waste time scrolling through social media posts instead of doing other more meaningful activities.

My concern is about social media are the extreme cases. When problems can manifest that range anywhere from the comparison of self to others to unrealistic perceptions of friends or body image, leading to depression or worse, narcissism and idolatry.

Social media provides the photoshopped highlight reel of life.

Real life is messy. Real life is not always Instagram or Pinterest-worthy.

Real life can be challenging, but I want you to know that you have inherent worth as daughters of the Most-High King! You are beautiful and wonderfully made by the lover of your soul. He loves you exactly the way He created you!

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. -Psalm 139:13-16 ESV

We are free to be ourselves, uniquely created to fulfill our distinctive calling in this world.

Ladies, don’t get caught up in the online comparison game of yourself with others. Know that you are loved by the King of Kings and that he has a purpose and plan for your life, and His plan is perfect. The perils of social media are that it makes us think that we are to look like what the world thinks we should look like, instead of the way that God intends us to be.

So what do we do about it? Do we all become Amish and abandon technology altogether? No! God has placed us in this world to be a light. Instead, we are to be wise to the trappings of the world and the internet, and we are to protect ourselves.

When Jesus was preparing to send his disciples out on their mission to the world, in Matthew 10:16, He says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” In this passage, Jesus is using a figure of speech to teach his disciples. Wolves are predatory animals that prey on sheep, so, therefore, we must remain innocent in an evil world that set on our destruction.

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We should be mindful of our time online and view everything through the lens of Philippians 4:8.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8 ESV

What can we do to guard ourselves against the perils of social media?

  1. Have friends in real life that you do life with. Online relationships can be great, but there is no substitute for real life community. Through my blog, I have become acquainted with many God-fearing, God-loving women that I would not have otherwise known without access to the incredible technology available at my fingertips. But there is no substitute for laughing with a friend over coffee, taking a walk with a loved one, or gathering together with other moms and kiddos in tow for a fun day at the park.
  2. Be intentional with your time online. Be mindful of how much time you are mindlessly scrolling online. Don’t sacrifice time with those God has put right in front of you to be online. Put your device away and spend time in fellowship with your friends and loved ones, and encourage friends and family members to do the same.
  3. Take your thoughts captive when you are online. Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ” Don’t allow the lofty opinions of others or altered images and skewed realities to turn you away from what is true.
  4. Remember your identity is in Christ. You are a child of God, and because you are HIS PRECIOUS CHILD, you have inherent worth and purpose. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you and calls you by name.
Woman to Woman Ministries

Messy Marriage
Seeking God

Crystal Twaddell

Posted by Misty Phillip

By His Grace: Seek Jesus, Study the Word, Grow in Grace Bible Study Author, Christian Lifestyle Blogger, & Speaker www.MistyPhillip.com

16 Comments

  1. Yes Yes yes so true. I love that you have a so what do we do about it section! Taking your thoughts captive is so important and so difficult when the screen is filled with so many lovely things that distract us. Suddenly Im wishing for someone else kitchen and not even realizing it. Such an important post thanks for sharing!

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  2. Patty Greenbacker 03/29/2017 at 11:28 am

    You make some excellent points here! I also agree with the suggestions you posed at the end of the post! Very helpful, encouraging post!

    God bless,
    Patty

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    1. Patty, Thank you for your sweet comments! God bless you too! Misty

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  3. hisdearlyloveddaughter 03/29/2017 at 2:00 pm

    Great insights! Thanks for the challenge.

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  4. Read your blog through Chasing Community. Thank you for sharing! This is such a timely word for today. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I have gotten caught up in it as well. I’m 47! Love the word! Thanks!

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    1. Julie, Thank you! Blessings, Misty

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  5. I have a love – hate relationship with social media too. I see it’s advantages and the way it helps us keep up with people, but as with most things, it can so easily become a trap that leads us away from the better things of God. We can argue about how many wonderful things we can do with social media, but if it’s interfering with our pursuit of Him and our real life face-to-face interactions with others, then it becomes a problem. It’s then we need to be like Mary & Martha… and choose what is best. thanks

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    1. Hi Karen, Thanks for your great comments! Have a fantastic day! ❤ Misty

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  6. Hey Misty! Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I LOVE this post! Your tips are so practical, and yet oftentimes we don’t incorporate these things into our everyday lives! I am constantly praising the Lord for the authentic group of women that I am blessed to be a part of. These relationships remind me that life really isn’t perfect and that’s “normal”! I fall prey to the comparison game more often than I would like to admit! Thanks for sharing! Your neighbor at coffee for your heart…

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    1. Amy, Hi! Thanks for stopping by, and for your sweet comments. Someone once told me that we need to fight for those authentic relationships because we are stronger and better together! Blessings, Misty ❤

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  7. Great post for any age, Misty — and especially for our young girls. I have young men at my house, and they need this message just as much. (And some days Amish sounds kinda nice. 😉 ) Thank you for sharing! ((xoxo))

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  8. Brenda, Thanks so much for your sweet comments! Technology is a blessing, but if we don’t guard ourselves, just like anything else it can be a curse. ❤
    Hugs, Misty

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  9. What a great post! I’m doing much better than I used with this, in part because I blog now and it takes a lot of my time. I don’t have nearly as much time to mindlessly scroll through social media, anymore. However, my concern is that sometimes I’m missing out on the time that I need with the Lord because I just want some downtime. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Hi! Rosanna, You are absolutely right, blogging is super time consuming! I am with you, I have to schedule my time with the Lord first thing in the morning before I check my phone or email, to make sure I am filled before I can pour myself out. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. ❤️ Blessings, Misty

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