Hey Sisters! This week we are celebrating the release of my husband’s newest book, #Struggles – Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World. Craig’s book drives home important biblical values that need evaluating in light of our ever-changing hi-tech-world. As you read the following excerpt from the book’s introduction, I pray that God will specifically reveal the areas where you need to allow His control in your use of technology. ~ I love you, Amy
For Better or Worse
Intuitively, we know that technology and social media are changing us. For better or worse, they are changing how we receive information, how we relate to people, how we see ourselves, and possibly what we value and believe about God.
Without a doubt, technology is changing the way we relate to people. While technology comes with many benefits, it also has drawbacks. The term friend has evolved to even mean someone you’ve never met but who has access to your social media online. As a result, we can define friendship on our own terms based on who we follow, “Friend,” or “Like.”
We’re becoming addicted to immediate gratification even as we attempt to control how others perceive us by what we post, pin, and tweet. Real-life, unscripted communication frightens many people now, especially young adults who are used to editing their emails, texts, and captions.
Recent studies indicate we’re more connected online, but less compassionate about real people’s needs. We’re becoming more isolated as the depth of our relationships decreases. We crave the approval of others, their attention and affirmation, but we avoid sharing about our lives below the surface. These are just a few of the issues we’ll explore in this book.
With these #struggles in mind, we will look at eight biblical values and how they can help us restore balance in our lives and end our unhealthy over-reliance on technology.
1. Contentment: The more we compare, the less satisfied we are. Studies show that viewing social media often leaves us feeling depressed.
2. Intimacy: The more we interact online, the more we crave face-to-face intimacy, but the more elusive it becomes.
3. Authenticity: The more filtered our lives become, the harder it is for us to be genuine and transparent.
4. Compassion: The more pain we’re exposed to, the more difficult it is for us to care. We become desensitized to the suffering of people around us and around the world.
5. Integrity: We’re tempted nonstop to see things that pollute the purity God desires.
6. Encouragement: Constant online criticism encourages us to focus on the weaknesses, flaws, and failures of others instead of encouraging them.
7. Worship: God wants to be first in our lives, but people are finding it increasingly difficult to follow Jesus in a selfie-centered world. It’s time to tear all idols down.
8. Rest: We have the world at our fingertips, and it’s overwhelmingly exciting. But we need to rediscover rest and solitude.
Even if you’re not a regular user of social media, or if you already have technology under control, this book can still speak to you because we all battle spiritual distractions, discontent, and temptations. Even if you’ve never tweeted, posted, uploaded, or commented, you still live in a selfie-centered world. And in your heart, you know there’s more than what you see.
You love technology and all it offers. But you also hate it. I can’t prove this, but I have some theories, which I’ll be sharing, about why we hate social media. In a nutshell, it makes everything so much about us. We’re sucked into measuring our lives by how many followers we have and who they are. We want to believe we’re not the sum 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 our selves, the less satisfied we feel. And the more we’re consumed with the things of this earth, the more we feel empty.
The reason is that we were created for more—much more.
We were created not for earth but for eternity.
We were created not to be Liked but to show love.
We were created not to draw attention to ourselves but to give glory to God.
We were created not to collect followers but to follow Christ.
I’m writing this book 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.
Get Pastor Craig’s new book #Struggles here.