Is Using Social Media Idolatry?
Written by Christi Given | September 28, 2018
One of the PI Girls recently mentioned that she’s struggled with social media. This is a hot topic, which brings me to this question: “Can using social media turn into idolatry or idol worship?”
The quick answer is yes, it can. The Lord talks about how he is a jealous God, especially in the Old Testament, when He gave Moses the 10 Commandments. We know that the Bible talks about not worshipping graven images.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. (Exodus 20:2-5)
One of the first commands is to not worship a carved or graven image. The Lord talks about how over centuries, people have worshipped idols, images and other foreign gods. The Bible is very clear that the Lord God Almighty (one true God) is to be worshipped through the son Jesus Christ, and we have access because of the cross. We have fellowship with him in the Holy Spirit, part of the triune God.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” (Luke 4:8)
Let’s talk about connection for a minute. Facebook, Snapchat, apps and Instagram are not bad ways to communicate the Gospel or to connect with family and friends. Social media becomes dangerous when we start becoming addicted to it, when we get our source of comfort from it rather than God (idolatry) and when it steals time from relationships and priorities.
We can use social media as a tool, but when it is abused, it becomes a habit and can become bad for us. We know that too much screen time can be bad for our eyesight and bad for our face-to-face communication, and can become a distraction. It really robs us of enjoying the moment when we are on our phones instead of taking in our special memories in person with loved ones.
Ask yourself: Am I spending more time online than in the Bible? Am I putting my face in God’s book or on Facebook? Am I glorifying other people’s highlight reels and it is disturbing my spirit or making me feel sad or depressed? If this is happening, then that’s a warning you need to pull back from social media and read God’s Holy Bible or a devotional to help you.
Boundaries and Self-Discipline
Do you find you’re comparing yourself and feeling bad about not having the lives others have? God tells us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 1:6). We also know that the Lord warns us to not be covetous. So how do we guard ourselves from this unbeknownst idol worship? We must set boundaries and be self-disciplined. We must have the fruit of the spirit, one of which is self-control.
There are now apps for your phone you can download that will log you out of apps, and you can set timers if you want to study or just make sure you are not online too much. This can be helpful, or you can just log out or delete the app if needed. If you want to take it a step further, you can fast from social media and give yourself a break.
Remember, ladies, you are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image and are created uniquely with purpose (Psalm 139). Now, I don’t want you to feel shame or guilt from using social media, especially if it’s to encourage people or to share good, but we must be watchful. I challenge you to pray and ask Jesus if you’re using social media wisely, and ask him to remove any idols in your heart or coveting in your life (wanting what others have).
What happens when we desire what others have? It makes us ungrateful for what we do have. We can be inspired by others, but let’s not look to people for approval and/or want to have their life, because all lives are special and important. You matter to God and He loves you so much!
God’s Word in the Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). God has big things in store for you, so don’t waste it going into someone else’s lane of life. Stay in your lane of life. Your passions and calling and God will reward you, and you will have peace. Amen?
PI Girls, do you struggle with social media addiction? Comment below for prayers!
Private-message me for questions or prayers: facebook.com/christigiven.