Are you considering fasting from social media because you’re tired of how people treat you or how it makes you feel? There’s a lot of reasons for taking a break (fasting) from social media. But whatever your reason, I’d like you to consider two things: Loving your neighbor and fasting for God.
It’s currently Lent and fasting is a common Lenten practice. So today we’re going to explore how you fast social media for Lent. And we’ll do this by looking at fasting through the lens of love.
Are you ready to learn about fasting social media for God and how that’s related to loving our neighbors?
I promise it won’t be too painful.
Let’s get started.
When Should Christians Stop...
If you’re reading this you’re likely wondering if you should take a break from social media. As Christians we’re called to live differently from the world.
We’re called to live our lives imitating Christ. When you see how Jesus lived His life it helps you determine if fasting social media is needed.
In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Are we loving our neighbors with the way we use social media?
And because “loving your neighbor” is a big topic (of sorts), we’re going to unpack it while asking ourselves the question:
- Should I fast social media for God?
How to Know if You Should Fast Social Media
The first part of the commandment to love has to do with our love for God. Jesus said we’re to love God with all we are – our heart, soul, and mind.
When Jesus said this He was quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-5 where Moses was giving the people God’s commands.
Love for God, love that flows out of every cell in our body, is to be the foundation for everything else we do.
The second command Jesus gave was to love your neighbor as yourself. To answer the “should I fast social media” questions we need to understand a couple of things about this second command.
First, how we love our neighbor is of utmost importance. Our love should show that they’re worthy of honor and respect. And, it should impart value and worth to our neighbor that reflects our love for God.
Second, our love for our neighbor should mirror the way we love ourselves.
And that’s how we should love everyone else as well – even our enemies. Thus, knowing if you should fast social media means knowing how you’re loving God and others.
To help with this I’ve compiled 10 common, yet unloving, things we might be doing on social media.
Are You Loving Your Social Media Neighbor?
Our prayer is that these questions help you identify ways you may not be loving God, yourself, or your social media neighbors well. And while we know this is a hard list, we don’t want you beating yourself up.
Instead, delight in the fact that God’s grace, mercy, kindness, compassion, and love is poured out for us. So, if this list highlights areas where you’re not loving yourself or others well, seek forgiveness.
Then, rejoice and prayerfully ask God what He wants you to do next. If He wants you to fast from social media the next section will walk you through that process.
10 Questions to Ask Yourself
If you’re struggling with the answers to the above questions, would you email us here so we can pray with you? These questions may have been eye-openers but they’re not meant to burden you.
So with the answers to those questions in mind, let’s look at how to fast social media.
Fasting Social Media
If you found that you do one or more of the above 10 things, fasting from social media might be a good idea.
Because fasting draws us closer to God and in turn allows Him to shape our hearts. And, it’s the shaping of our hearts that leads us to love as Jesus commanded.
To learn more about God shaping our hearts and fasting check out these two posts:
Truthfully, fasting social media is simple – just stop using it.
But…we know ourselves better than that. And we should also know our enemy, Satan, better than that.
So what do you do?
You take proactive steps that’ll make accessing social media tough.
1. Delete the apps.
Have no fear, just because you delete the app doesn’t mean you lose everything. It’ll all still be there (if you decide to return).
2. Log out.
If you use social media on a computer, go to your browser and log out of your social media accounts. While you’re at it, do the same thing on your phone and tablet.
Pray and ask the Lord how long He’d like you to fast social media. It’s okay to start small and work your way into a longer, more inclusive fast.
If you’re afraid fasting all forms of social media will be too much, take baby steps. Start with the one you use most and commit to fasting it for a week. After that, remove another form of social media or add another week to your initial fast.
Consider spending the time you’d normally be on social media praying, reading God’s Word, and sharing God’s love with others. Look at the above 10 things and consider focusing your prayer and Bible Study time on them.
Social media has become a way of life and this makes fasting it hard. But God calls us to a different way of life. He calls us to live a life of love. And the great news is we don’t have to figure this “love God, love others” thing out on our own.
Jesus left us a perfect example to follow and in addition to that – God provides.
If you’re struggling to love God with all you are, or are struggling to love yourself or your neighbors – God wants to help.
When you choose to fast from social media because you’re wanting God to shape your heart – God will shape your heart to love. After all, God is love and you were made in His image.
The world needs to experience God’s love.
- Will you allow God to shape your heart to be a heart after His?
- Will you fast social media for God because you want to love like He does?
Stay tuned because next week we’ll be looking at fasting food and what it means to “serve God alone”.
But until then, remember:
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:7-11
For more on fasting social media check out these posts:
- A Social Media Heart Check by Desiring God
- Why We Should Escape Social Media (and why we don’t) by Desiring God
- Is Social Media Separating Us from God by Beliefnet