Putting To Death The FOMO
I’ll be the first one to admit it, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is real ya’ll and before we let it consume us we need to get into the pattern of putting it to death. Wikipedia (I know, I know, not the most reliable source) defines FOMO as “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.”
From being afraid of completely missing out on what’s going on at that big party to burning yourself out from saying yes to every fun opportunity, FOMO can bring about an array of feelings that in the end- cripple us. Depression, loneliness, anger, bitterness, unsettledness, and extreme exhaustion are just to name a few.
We tend to point the finger at social media for smothering us with all the awesome things people are doing with their lives. Personally, I think it’s a cop-out to blame social media for creating FOMO entirely. If we honestly want to begin to tackle the fear that FOMO brings, we should be less focused on what others are doing and more so on the state of our heart.
If we find ourselves struggling with FOMO, it’s so crucial to question ourselves. What am I afraid of? If I did miss out, what would be threatened? My Satisfaction? Success? Popularity? Joy? Control? If we are intentional to dig a little deeper with these questions they’ll shed light on the fact that FOMO positions us to fear and give control to the wrong things.
“O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.” Psalm 34:9 NASB
When the fear of missing out becomes greater than our fear of God we need to stop ourselves immediately and repent. Whether it’s for coveting something that hasn’t been given to us or for looking to find our satisfaction met in something other than God. In Tim Keller’s book, “The Meaning of Marriage,” he breaks down the fear of the Lord so beautifully…
“Obviously, to be in the fear of the Lord is not to be scared of the Lord, even though the Hebrew word has overtones of respect and awe. ‘Fear’ in the Bible means to be overwhelmed, to be controlled by something. To fear the Lord is to be overwhelmed with wonder before the greatness of God and His love. It means that, because of His bright holiness and magnificent love, you find Him ‘fearfully beautiful.’"
Fearing the Lord rightly goes hand in hand with overcoming our heart’s tendency to covet and create idols. Because of Christ, when loneliness or anxiety comes from missing out you can turn to the Lord and be deeply satisfied in Him. In Christ, you are not left out and you will not miss out, you’ve been adopted into His family and set apart for HIS glory. This life is not all that there is and its not all about you finding deep satisfaction in earthly things. Christ will one day make everything right and we will no longer struggle with the fear of missing out. Our hearts should long for Christ’s return and be faithful with what He has before us. Understanding that our reward is Christ helps us to be able to say “I’m good with missing out on that event, ‘coz I don’t miss out on anything when I already have all that I need in Christ.” When we see the beauty of Christ and rest knowing that we are His and He is ours, the longing for other things become less and less desirable.
At the end of the day, FOMO makes it all about us when our lives should be all about Him. In Colossians 3, Paul encourages the church that they are alive in Christ and should put to death their sin. Not in a legalistic way but as we fix our eyes on Christ and depend on the Holy Spirit to empower us we can put to death this sin and choose to walk out the life He has called us to. When FOMO creeps in and your heart starts to say, “I’m missing out on this or I want that” look to Christ, to how He rescued you by laying down His life down in your place. Get to know Him more, trust Him and the fact that He is good. Praise Him and give Him thanks for saving you and calling you to Himself. By His strength, pick up your cross and steward well what He has given you in this season. Don’t give FOMO room to overwhelm or control you, instead- choose not to miss out on co-laborering with the Lord here and now in the expansion of His Kingdom, all for His glory alone.