One of my "New Year's Resolutions" was to take a month-long break from social media (and spend more time with God).  Here are 6 things I learned & observed, written with a desire for deeper understanding and the fact that we all need grace…

1. 

Missing the latest status update is not the end of the world.

 It's really not.  Many people, including myself, can feel like they're being excluded if they don't constantly refresh their newsfeed.  A thought that came to mind more than once was similar to this: there are some people who don't even know what Facebook is… and some of those people are so Joy-filled.

John 14:8-11 Philip said to him,

“Lord, 

show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 

Jesus said to him, 

“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? 

Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Do you not believe that 

I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you 

I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Believe me that

I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else 

believe on account of the works themselves.

2. 

Social media can be self-glorifying.

 Instagram filters can't be worn in real life (a kind of funny metal image, but true:).  Posts can exclude people and make them feel inadequate.  They often create a false sense of what "perfection" looks like.  It's too easy to type words that you'd never say face-to-face.  It's too easy to get caught up in all of this and soon enough, you start to wonder if you're the only one that

doesn't

have it all together.  Don't measure your value in the number of followers you have or how many likes your picture gets.  These numbers can't compare to what we're worth to the Messiah, who died for us!  Not much else is more freeing than knowing that you are 

loved 

by the God who created you in His image.  As followers of Jesus, we know & believe that we're nothing without Jesus and grace.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For 

by grace you have been saved 

through faith. And this is 

not your own doing; 

it is the gift of God,

not a result of works, 

so that no one may boast.

For 

we are his workmanship, 

created in Christ Jesus 

for good works, 

which God prepared beforehand, 

that we should walk in them.

3. 

Social media can be God-glorifying.

 Everywhere you go is a mission field.  Everything you do is an opportunity to glorify God.  Fill twitter with Truth!  Share the grace that's freely given in Jesus!  Even though social media can be self-glorifying, many people are using it to honor the Lord.  We shouldn't use this as an excuse to share the Gospel online and ignore our lost neighbors… but be a light wherever God leads you.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so 

that

they may see your good works and 

give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

4. 

Other things besides social media can steal time.

 When I started this challenge, I thought I'd have so much more time… I quickly learned (the hard way) that other things can steal time, too.  It's a daily battle; what or

Who

is worthy of our time. 

Revelation 4:11

Worthy

are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for

you

created all things, and by

your

will they existed and were created.”

5. 

Time is important.

   Time is

so

precious.  Every breath we take is a 

gift

 from God and it's so easy to forget that.  We live in a world that is fast-paced and racing, every second… When do we stop to be still in the presence of the God of the universe?  But really, time isn't ours and sometimes we are so busy that we forget Who created and gave us this very minute.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above,

 coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,

 who does not change

 like shifting shadows.

6. 

We need to be conscious of our time-spending.

 The enemy wants our time, but God alone is worthy of our time.  Homework, chores, work, and other things simply need to be done (even if we don't want to do them:) and this can be a struggle-- too many things are playing tug-of-war for our attention.  When I chose to read God's word before I study for a test, sometimes I'm unsure if I'm doing the right thing.  

Choosing Jesus is never the wrong choice.

 It's the best choice we could ever make, in the big & small of our lives.

Colossians 4:2-5 

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it 

with thanksgiving.

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may 

open to us a door for the word, 

to declare the mystery of Christ, 

on account of which I am in prison—

that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 

Walk in wisdom toward 

outsiders,

making the best use of the time.

Let your speech always 

be gracious, 

seasoned with salt, 

so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in your sight, 

Lord

, my 

rock and my 

redeemer. 

Psalm 19:14

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