I try to be very intentional with the words I place in this space. I want them to be words that encourage you in your walk with Jesus. I want my words to be approved by God, because those are the only words that matter. So, when I sit to tap out a post or message, I spend time asking the Lord what He wants on this whitespace.
Recently, my friend Arabah Joy and I were having a chat. She knew that I had fasted from Facebook for the month of February, and she said, “I hope you will do a post on your Facebook fast. I’d love to know what you learned.”
I had not even thought about talking about my fast here. Although I announced that I would be away from Facebook, it never occurred to me that anyone would be interested in my fast. As I thought about her words, I began to sense the Lord saying, “Yes, talk about it.”
I’ll just go ahead and tell you that fasting is not my favorite thing. It is hard. It puts instant gratification on hold, and Lord help us, we are a society addicted to instant gratification. I’m talking about more than Facebook here. I’m talking any fast we do.
The first three weeks of January, I fasted dessert and meat. Those ARE the two of the three main food groups as far as I am concerned. I thought dessert would be the most difficult. NOT! The meat was far more difficult. I am a carnivore. I adore red meat. I crave red meat. I thought I would pass on into heaven before the fast was over. Once it was over, then the Lord led me into the Facebook fast. Mercy!
First, the meat fast. The first ten days were brutal. I craved meat like a wild animal. Then, I began to feel the effects of not having meat. If you have a delicate stomach, you may want to skip to the Facebook part of this post. I have long suffered with IBS, also known as irritable bowel syndrome. There are two kinds, the diarrhea predominant and the constipation predominant. I have the latter. What I quickly realized during my meat fast was that my body really needs more veggies, and less meat. My IBS was markedly improved with less meat. I had no idea how protein slows things down. There, don’t say I didn’t warn you! ***This was an IBS public service announcement.*** The upside of the meat fast is that now I no longer crave meat like I did.
What’s the spiritual application? I’m sure you are wondering how in the world I will get a spiritual application out of a disgusting conversation about meat and IBS. Okay, here it is: When we feed our minds and heart things that are good for us, we eventually cease to crave the things that are not so good for us. Filling our minds with the things of the Lord leaves little room or appetite for the things of the world. Consequently, when we put godly things into our minds, then in all likelihood, godly things will be produced from us. You know, garbage in, garbage out.
On to the Facebook fast. When I began the fast, I was completely disgusted with FB. The drama, the absurd amounts of private information, the drama, the huge potential for misunderstanding, the drama. I was just over it. I still am. I did not miss all of the TMI (too much information) posts, the ‘she-said-what-that-hurt-whose-feelings posts, the political name-calling on both sides of the aisle, the repeated break-up/get-back-together posts, the drama. I did not miss any of it.
BUT, it is crazy how addicted to it we can become. How often have you and I scrolled down the timeline, passing up the posts with Scripture or a godly quote, looking for the Jerry Springer-esque post from someone in town? Girlfriend, that mess does not qualify as ‘whatever is pure, lovely, and of good report’. As Christians, we have no business getting drawn into it. I don’t care if it is your cousin’s wife’s half-brother’s uncle. Just don’t get involved by reading it! And surely do not enter into the fray with a comment!
I learned that it takes some backbone to walk away from the less-than-lovely stuff on Facebook, and social media at large. It is almost like a horrible wreck that you want to look away from, but just can’t. Folks, with instant access to half the world’s personal lives, we have to be diligent in establishing boundaries for ourselves. We don’t need to know so much of the mess that we can learn about on social media. We just don’t.
Now, do not hear me say that we need to completely abandon social media. If that works for you, fine, do it, but I’m not saying that is necessarily the solution. I am saying that after my Facebook fast, I am going to be much more selective in what I look at, whose posts I read, and who I remain friends with on social media. My brain is small, and I don’t need to clutter that tiny space up with stuff that doesn’t encourage me in my walk with Jesus. I just don’t.
So, both of my fasts really taught me the same thing: It matters a great deal what we put into our bodies and minds. Each of us must choose wisely the things we consume.
Linking up today at Grace & Truth
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