I would put myself in the below-average category as far as social media participation goes. But I do have friends and acquaintances who are addicted to it. Their whole world seems to revolve around their digital communities — preferring it over fresh-and-blood contacts with people.

And when I do get together with them in person, the words "likes" and "followers" seem to spring up as we try to have a real face-to-face conversation while we swipe on our phones.

In Romans 12, Paul warns us that we must no longer be conformed to the world. We are to abandon the pursuit of power, possessions, and status, and stop living like everyone else. It requires us to be renewed in the way we think and understand what is important, knowing God wants us to seek his will for us.

God may provide us with pleasure, possessions, and status in various forms, but he wants us to learn to see life from his vantage point: What does he want for me? What is a good, acceptable, and perfect way to live for his purpose and not for the world?

John described this worldly way of living as the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). God does not want us focused on "likes" and "followers" only to find ourselves conformed to the communities on social media and far, far from God.

If properly used, social media can help grow the Kingdom of God. But if we are not on guard, social media can easily become an idol worshiped in a real sense, distracting us from the only one deserving of worship, God.

Let us have our hearts always open to him, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit step by step. We do not want to fall prey to the influences of social media in ways that do not glorify God in our thoughts, words, and deeds, eroding our faith and dishonoring our Savior.

Lord, you promised to guard me against temptation beyond what I can bear. Thank you that the Holy Spirit gives me all the power I need to resist the trappings of the world that often pull me away from your loving presence. Amen.

Throughout This Day: Ask the Lord for guidance and trust him for the strength to use social media in a way that glorifies him and helps you deepen your faith.

Tags: Daily Devotional Romans 12
Photo Credit: George Pagan III on Unsplash