“If you want to be my disciple (one whole-heartedly devoted), you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. Luke 14:25-28 (NLT) [Emphasis Mine].
Jesus tells us, with strong language, that unless you make everyone and everything else second place in your life, you cannot be His disciple. The things we live for in this life cost us. When we live for a particular sports team, it costs money to buy tickets to the game, it costs time to go to the game, and it costs us energy to do both.
When we choose to spend our time and resources in a specific area (cost) we are actually making an investment, and all investments have a return.
Spending hours occupied with Social media also has a cost. It is no secret that investing much of our time and energy on social media for hours at a time has some negative consequences (returns). Some of the well-documented harms form overuse of social media are fragmented attention spans, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and feelings of inadequacy and depression.
Social media, by itself, is not a negative force, it is neutral; but fallen man has utilized this neutral platform in harmful ways. Developers of social media have called on those who create gambling machines to create the same kind of stimulus and reward experience that leads to addiction.
Social media is also used for great good. There are plenty of people and organizations using social media to encourage and nurture individuals spiritually. The gospel is being shared in amazingly, creative ways. If you have used social media for any period of time, I'm sure you could share a story of a video, or an encouraging word shared on a social media platform that God used to give you peace or encourage you towards obedience.
Social media, like anything else, can get in the way of our devotion to Jesus. And whenever anything else gets in the way of our devotion to Jesus, the returns will always have a negative impact on our hearts. It costs to be a disciple (one whole-heartedly devoted), but the return is life and life to the fullest (John 10:10).
Lord Jesus, forgive me when I have invested in and devoted myself to other things (confess what those things are to Jesus here). Give me a heart fully dedicated to You. Amen