In continuing with our series on the quiet pursuit of God with what I have termed the seven deadly sins of social media, let’s look at how knowledge and endless streaming content are negatively impacting our quiet pursuit of God.
5. Ego Boost
1 Corinthians 8:1–3 (CSB) — 1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. 3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by him.
Without hesitation I can offer “ego” as one of the greatest pitfalls of Christian social media.
At no other time in history has such a wealth of knowledge been so widely available to the body of Christ. Unfortunately, we have become puffed up with pride by this wealth of knowledge, and immature and undiscerning brothers and sisters have used their knowledge to create strife, quarrels, and division within the body of Christ. And further compounding the severity of this problem is the “wild-west” nature of the online world; there are no elders overseeing Christian social media to warn, discipline, and even disfellowship divisive brothers and sisters when their oversized egos cause trouble (See Titus 3:10-11).
6. Fear of Missing Out
2 Timothy 3:7 (CSB) — 7 [For they are] always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Social media is a well-documented addiction and there are many Christians who are using their Christian social media to feed their addiction in a “sanitized way”. The conscious or subconscious fear that we might “miss out on something” is both irrational and faithless; “irrational”, as John Piper states it, because there are countless marvelous insights into God’s word being given from countless marvelous pastors, teachers, preachers, and evangelists all over the world in every imaginable language on earth! You cannot possibly listen to and learn it all. We are finite beings, and we must be “ok” with that; “faithless” because it fails to acknowledge that we have the divine Counselor, who will never leave us or forsake us, to guide us into the truth (Jn. 16:33; 1 Jn. 2:27). Don’t doubt the Holy Spirit’s capacity to teach you the truth you need to know through all the means and mechanisms available to him. He will certainly use human messengers to teach you, even as “iron sharpens iron” (Pr. 27:17). But he will also guide you into the truth in your quiet pursuit of God, through your trials (Ro. 5:3-4) and in your communion with him (Ro. 5:5).
There are, however, many who have immersed themselves into a constant feed of Christian social media content, and they never truly come to a knowledge of the truth; their knowledge of Christ remains always fruitless (consider 2nd Peter 1:5-11).
7. Podcasts All Day
Psalm 40:16 (CSB) — 16 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, “The Lord is great!”
Philippians 4:4 (CSB) — 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions about Christian social media is that immersing ourselves in Christian content all day is a sign of spiritual maturity. I can say with absolute certainty that it is not; it’s a sign of spiritual immaturity. The sign of spiritual maturity is the holy fruit of godliness and the sign of spiritual immaturity is the constant need to be fed (Heb. 5:11-14).
Spiritually mature people avoid pointless arguments, conspiracies, and myths, and train themselves in godliness (1 Tim. 4:7-10) so that they may be able to do the work of eternal value to which they were appointed (Eph. 2:10).
Unfortunately, the never ending supply of Christian social media content has replaced our joy in Christ with mere intellectual stimulation and visual entertainment. Spiritually mature brothers and sisters know how to continually rejoice in Christ, being satisfied and satiated entirely in him. And while they know how to benefit from “Christian podcasts”, their joy and faithful living in Christ is independent from these resources. They are established in him because they have spent time in quiet pursuit of God!
The Quiet Pursuit of God
Those who embark upon the quiet pursuit of God, to know him deeper in spirit and truth, must walk humble as the lamb, not being puffed up in their minds, but intent upon walking in the Spirit as those who are made fruitful in their knowledge of the truth by his ministry. It is in redeeming the time to the divine will that we become those who might truly succeed in the quiet pursuit of God!