Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World
I have a love-hate relationship with technology.
Most of us are well acquainted with this feeling, but we can’t quite put our finger on why. Our devices seem indispensible, but we don’t know how to manage the challenges that come with using them, and these problems continue to multiply.
We’re busy…but bored.
We’re full…but empty.
We’re connected…but lonelier than ever.
Our lives are full of more activities than we can imagine, but we often feel hollow at the end of the day. We have more stuff—cars, homes, clothes, gadgets, toys—than any generation in history, yet we still long for something more. We are more connected online than we ever imagined possible, but we frequently feel more alone than we know how to describe. We know God intended for us to have something different, something better, something more. But we aren’t quite sure how to find it.
Can you relate?
Most everyone seems to agree that life is getting busier, crazier, and more frantic with each passing day. We’re bombarded by more information than we know how to process—news, ads, commercials, blogs, tweets, pics, sound bites, music, games, more ads. What’s crazy is that we have more devices, programs and apps than ever before to make life easier. As our world abounds with countless technological breakthroughs, each one promises to make our lives better.
And unquestionably, many of these new innovations have. I can text with my close friend in Australia and let him know I’m praying for him. I can share pictures of my son’s birthday party with relatives thousands of miles away. I can check my 401K, buy my groceries or book a hotel at the beach all from my mobile phone. And yet with all the upsides, I can’t help but wonder about the unintended downsides of some of the conveniences I now “can’t live without.”
This is especially true with social media. I love seeing what my friends are doing, yet I often find myself with this nagging feeling that something isn’t right. I can’t prove it, but I think it’s because social media creeps up and subtly makes everything about us. We’re sucked into measuring our lives by who follows us and how many. We want to believe we are not the sum total of the likes our last post received, but it still feels like those little clicks matter. The odd thing is, the more we focus on ourselves, the less satisfied we feel. And the more we’re consumed with the things of this earth, the more we feel empty on the inside.
The reason is because we were created for more—way more. We were not created for earth—but for eternity. We were not created to be liked, but to show love. We were not created to draw attention to ourselves, but to give glory to God. We were not created to collect followers, but to follow Christ.
That tension prompted me to write my latest book, #Struggles—Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World. Because it’s time to be honest about our #Struggles. And to regain control of the amazing tools that technology provides us.
It’s time to put technology back in its place.
It’s time to love God with our whole hearts.
By Craig Groeschel