Last night I had a horrible dream! Everyone around me had multiple social media apps on their phones! I guess that sounds like real life but when I finally broke down and got a smart phone (I was one of the last to have a dumb phone), I committed to never add any social media to it. I have a bunch of games and news apps but no social media. When I want to check in on social media I go to a computer. It’s great because I can limit the amount of access the world has to me.
In my dream everyone was begging me and pleading with me to get multiple social media accounts on my phone. We were in a classroom and when we sat down I heard nothing but phone notifications every second from all over the room. I couldn’t think straight and I was concerned that everyone was cheating on their tests.
No angel came and told me a message about this image or anything like that but I do think the Lord is speaking here. Having no way or desire to unplug from social media is not good. We’ve all heard the studies about high anxiety but it’s more than that. This constant connection is enabling every form of cheating. Relationship cheating is one of the biggies but also simply cheating at knowing people and knowing how to do things. With so much access at our fingertips we have to be careful that we don’t cripple ourselves.
If you have kids you’ve seen this play out. You feed them, you clothe them, you house them, you correct their manners and they think those things just happen on their own. When a kid finally has to do something on their own it’s a rude awakening. They usually quit the first few times because it’s hard to do without help and then you have to just encourage them over and over again until they see that it’s possible.
Eventually, kids to figure out how to live life without the crippling need for someone else to do part of the process for them. But that process is slowing down drastically. Instead of learning to learn and grow and accomplish by the time you’re 10 or 15 many people aren’t figuring it out until they are in their 20s or 30s. Where do people go to get encouragement these days? Social media right?
We post our best laid plans and if no one likes them or encourages us we throw out more best laid plans. It’s hard to accomplish anything if you have no hope and encouragement creates hope in others. That hope gives us the courage to move forward, our courage is increased by the giving of hope through encouragement. Parents who encourage their kids give them a lifetime of support to fall back on when they feel like things are too hard. Jesus too gives encouragement that we are capable of so much more than we ever knew. But most people aren’t talking to Jesus and most parents aren’t that encouraging in this current generation.
What does a generation do without hope? They fall apart into any number of coping mechanisms, anything that feels good. Social media interactions feel good (at least some of them) and they encourage and give hope and keep people going. The church is made for this purpose, to encourage each other in good works. The church was intended to be a place where people go fishing for encouragement that gives hope and keeps us going. It doesn’t always work out that way though does it?
And so we cheat on our tests instead of learning to pass them. We fish for encouragement from anyone that will give it. In fact if you get on social media and encourage people, you will probably gain followers by the hundreds. If you walk into your church and encourage someone, you will probably grow your church too. For those of us who don’t have any great skills to offer society, anyone can encourage someone to do good things. One of the purposes of a prophetic word is to encourage people towards the things of God. Paul says that all can prophecy and truly all can encourage people towards the things of God. So if you do have multiple social media accounts connected to your phone, always going off and distracting you, take that situation and spin it into a thing of God. Start sending out encouragement and building the Kingdom in that place you already are, with the people you already talk to. May the Lord multiply your good fruit and heap up blessing for you in the world to come and may God bless all y’all.