For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?Mark 8:36
It seems that over the past few years, the world has turned upside down in every way possible. With all the turmoil and change, it is easy to lose oneself in the riptide and struggle to find a firm footing. Much of this is due to the impact of social media on our lives.
Social media is a fact of life these days, whether we like it or not. We use it to our detriment, but we ignore it to our own peril as well. Everyone has an opinion these days, and it is easy to voice it, sometimes emphatically. Unfortunately, this is leading to major challenges for many people as we navigate our way in the current society.
Wokeness, cancel culture, so-called diversity and more seem to be tearing the very fabric of our society apart. The Siren’s call to be accepted in this world is strong and it is compelling many to lose their footing and compromise in ways they would have never thought possible.
Since everyone has an opinion and advice, I will offer mine. Feel free to ignore it, but I hope you will at least consider it. I realize many are having to make tough choices and decisions in the world today, decisions about their jobs and careers, family and relationships, and so much more, and I respect that. I would just urge you to take a step back, and be true to yourself.
Here are 5 quick words of advice I would offer you in today’s world:
1. Don’t sell out to money
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matt. 6:24
Far too many of our choices and decisions are driven by money. Sometimes it is the drive to have more dollars than sense, and other times it is the fear of not having enough money to make ends meet.
a. Recognize that God is your supply, not your job – “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 4:19. This is a radical paradigm shift for most of us when we realize we can and should trust God for our provision and not our jobs or careers.
b. Learn the principles of giving and the law of sowing and reaping – “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38.
Isaac sowed during a famine and reaped a hundred fold because he believed God.
When we learn the principles of giving and understand the law of sowing and reaping and that our supply comes from God, we are free from the hold money has on us and we can make our choices and decisions based on faith and not fear. Don’t sell out your principles and your soul out of fear concerning money and don’t be seduced by the lust for more.
2. Don’t chase approval
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” – Matt. 6:1
Seeking the approval of men has led to some of the most bizarre and hypocritical inconsistencies in our society today. Everywhere you turn you see individuals and businesses trying to “out woke” everyone else to gain approval. Compromising principles and values for the sake of approval from family, friends, peers or bosses is a dark path that is a dead end.
3. Stand for what you believe
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…” – Eph. 6:13, 14
If you don’t know what you believe, it is high time to find out. It has been said, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. Learn about the issues facing our country and our society and take a stand. My mother used to say there were two things you don’t talk about: politics and religion. She was wrong, and that is why we are in the mess we are in. Those are the very things we need to talk about in the public square these days. We need to know what we believe and we need to voice it with both conviction and compassion.
4. Be bold
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” – Prov. 28:1
It is time to stand up and be counted. We can no longer be silent in the face of evil in our society. We have let things slide for too long and now they are sliding down that proverbial slippery slope and dragging us with them into oblivion. Rise up and let your voice be heard. We can no longer afford to be silent.
5. Take risks
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Heb. 11:8
When we reach the end of our sojourn, most of our regrets will come not from things we did, but rather from the chances we did not take, the open doors we didn’t walk through, the causes we didn’t stand for and the risks we didn’t take. When we walk by faith, we won’t always see the end, but we will see the beginning and the next step to take. Abraham was told to leave, not where to go, at least not until he was well into the journey. A walk of faith takes the next step and trusts there will be more clarity to follow.
The temptation to fall for the lies of the devil, some subtle, some blatant, is real for all of us and social media is littered with the garbage that results from it. Even as believers, it is easy to lose yourself while trying to gain the world, but remember, as the old song says, “this world is not our home, we are just a passing through…” for our citizenship is in heaven. We are in the world, but not of the world, and we should live accordingly.