Devotion: Combating FOMO

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. Hebrew 6:19-20

Among the youth is this term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and with the growth of Facebook that fear has been exacerbated. While growing up I may have been anxious about missing the party in Alpharetta, or frustrated that my parents put me in the back of their car to drive me on college visits instead of letting me go to a Spring Break beach week with friends, but I was not forced to confront everyone else’s great adventures on their digital timeline.

This fear of missing out though is not limited to the youth.

We are all afraid to make resolute plans in fear that something better may be out there.

It is the adolesent version of “Keeping up with the Joneses.” While the youth may be anxious that they are going to miss the party of the lifetime, many adults are afraid that they are going to miss the perfect life: a meaningful job that pays well with flexible scheduling, a beautiful wife, 2 children, retirement at 65, and a weekly golf game scored in the 70s.

As we search for this perfect life, we try to capture incomplete images in order to bundle them and selectively uploaded them to our Facebook account.

As a good friend told me recently, “Facebook is the highlight reel of life.” No one logs on to post a picture of the fight they had with their spouse last night; no one posts a picture of them on their knees battling another round of chemo induced nauseousness; no one posts the race photo where they dropped out because of a lack of intestinal fortitude. We scrub our photo albums of lost loves and lost opportunities.

We selectively share the highlights of life, and in doing so try to put up a facade that our life is noteworthy.

The root cause of FOMO is insecurity. We are anxious and wonder how do we measure up. We look for external confirmation and affirmation. “Am I good enough” is the question that haunts us all.

However, rather than perpetuating this insecurity, what would it look like for you to live IN security.

In the full security and knowledge of Jesus Christ: that you are loved, that you are failures have been paid for, that you are washed clean, and that you are designed for a specific mission for Christ.

So, how do you combat FOMO? Confidence. Have the confidence to make your own plans and invite others to join you. And at times to go it alone, knowing that really you are never alone.

As the author of Hebrews says that confidence is anchored in the firm security of a God who does not let us walk alone but alongside Him.

As I prepared the message yesterday, a line that came upon my heart was when I realized the reason I pray is not to manipulate God into giving me the stuff I think I want (like good parking spots, seats in crowded restaurants, good health)…but to know that there is ONE person in my life who will listen and be there.

Our insecurity gets transformed to living IN security of Jesus.

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