A fear of missing out can cause us to miss God’s priorities
Have you ever had the uncomfortable sensation you were on the outside looking in — that something amazing was happening, and you weren’t a part of it? There’s a word for this feeling: FOMO, the fear of missing out. It can be a powerful driver of human behavior.
In a recent survey of U.S. adults by investment group Charles Schwab, roughly half of millennials — and 35% of all respondents — said their friends’ posts on social media had influenced them to spend more to keep from missing out on all the excitement. Those Instagram photos of fancy meals and dreamy vacations are irresistible. People are staring at their screens and asking, What am I missing? How does my life measure up? What do I need to pursue next?
The only kind of missing out that should concern us as Christians is overlooking matters of eternal importance.
Many feel this pressure most acutely around the holidays. A desire for something more, something that often seems just out of reach, fuels overspending and increases anxiety. The resulting consumer debt can take months or years to pay off, affecting quality of life and giving capacity along the way.
It’s easy to fall into this trap. We stress over what we — and especially our kids — might miss out on if we don’t cross off every item on the to-do list and purchase every item on the wish list. But the reality is, more isn’t always better. In the end, a fear of missing out can cause us to miss God’s priorities.
As you move through the busy holidays and look toward a new year, make a commitment to spend less, give more, savor time with family and friends, soak up God’s presence, and reflect on what matters most. Your example will influence church members in a positive way, encouraging them to do the same.
The only kind of missing out that should concern us as Christians is overlooking matters of eternal importance. Rather than leaving you feeling depleted, may this season bring renewed passion and fresh vision for the mission to which God has called you. And may your church not miss out on Spirit-led opportunities to grow in Christ and share His message with the world.This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 edition of Influence magazine.