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The Fear of Missing Out

 

Snapchat. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Snap it, or it didn’t happen. Post it, or no one will know about it, right?

 

In today’s world, we don’t want to miss out on what’s happening, and it’s easy to want to share all the fun we’re having. Sometimes we look at what other people are doing or posting and may ask, “Why isn’t my life as cool as theirs?” We wake up every day hoping someone will text us asking, “Want to do something today?” and end up hoping we don’t miss out on something others are enjoying. This is FOMO - the anxiety-ridden, stress-causing acronym otherwise known as the “Fear of Missing Out.”

 

Today’s society stays busy trying to stay busy, and when we aren’t busy, we think we have to sit by ourselves with ourselves. That’s when the brain starts going a mile a minute. Fears and insecurities surface, and we start to ask questions like:

 

  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Are people experiencing life in greater ways than me?
  • Do people not care about me or love me?
  • Insert any other damaging question that the heart/mind can conjure up.

 

Each one of us has asked ourselves those questions at some point in our lives, but why?

 

The human heart is known to grasp onto anything that brings us happiness and idolize it. We must feel loved and some sense of belonging and purpose, so we grasp onto anything that will bring us that contentment. It’s so easy for our fears or insecurities that dwell within the deepest parts of our hearts to be locked away and covered up with good times and good people. That is what I do most times, anyway.

 

But I want to do more than cover up fears and insecurities. I want to fight it. Not by my own strength, but by the strength of the One who created me. I want everyone to know the goodness of God and the peace He brings. The Word demonstrates these truths in so many ways.

 

Truth 1: You are never alone or forgotten

Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Granted, 31:6 was referring to Moses and Joshua leading Israel into the Promised Land.  However, God was with them as they were about to step across the Jordan and go to war against those who were bigger, stronger, and more prepared. If God promised that for them, then I know He is with us now.

 

Truth 2: You are loved

Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Christ Jesus died for you. The ultimate sacrifice; the ultimate declaration. You are loved more by Christ than anyone in this world could ever love you. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t get invited to go do something. It might not feel good at that moment, but that feeling is fleeting. Know in your heart that the true love of Christ lasts forever.

 

Truth 3: You have been called to something far greater

John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

This is our calling. You are charged with something so much greater - to show our broken world the fruit that blooms from knowing and following Christ. There is exponential joy in serving and fulfilling God’s purpose, and you were chosen to fulfill it.

 

I believe God designed us to experience FOMO because we have ultimately been called into communion with Him.

 

When we are experiencing this feeling in what we think is a worldly sense, it’s easy to attempt to apply a worldly solution, but the world is fleeting and cannot be ultimately relied on to fulfill us. You were not designed by the world, so do not let the things of the world give you trouble. Know that you are loved and wanted always.

 

When we experience FOMO, we should harness that feeling to drive ourselves toward the only thing that can truly bring us fulfillment. Move towards the Father, and become more like Jesus. Now that’s something I don’t want to miss out on.


Alex has been attending Redemption Church for almost three years.  He serves on the First Impressions team and is a part of Center City Community Group.