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Connect with Me

Posted by Shannon Hardin on

It’s early on Saturday morning. I grab a cup of coffee and make my way to the couch to spend the morning with my husband. We begin to talk about our day and the happenings of our life. It’s peaceful, real, and refreshing. I love these moments in my week when things slow down and find moments of rest.

However, like most of us today, some mornings I find myself reaching for the tablet, the cell phone, or the computer for information on daily news and of course, what’ happening in social media land. And there goes the refreshing, restful morning. I’m instantly in the middle of everyone else’s life!

I know I’m not the only one who finds themselves in the middle of a “scroll fest” during the day. Statistically, more than three billion people are now using social media, worldwide. Digging deeper, about 68% (two-thirds of U.S. adults!) aged 24 and older are Facebook users, while 71% of individuals aged 18-24 are using Instagram, and visiting the site multiple times a day. When I think about the amount of individuals using social media, I have to ask myself, why are these platforms and their use so widespread?

Social media was originally designed to connect with others. But the reality is it’s oftentimes a cesspool of bad information, and in worse cases, a place of bullying, vanity, ego, and plain old political ranting. Can anybody else testify to this? Individuals now base how important they are if a post receives more “likes” or more hearts on Instagram. A person’s value and sense of worth is graded by people watching, through the lens of social media.

Experts in the mental health realm suggest that in an ever-increasing climate of stress and the growing mental health crisis, these platforms for “connection” are stealing precious moments to experience true relationship. Since there’s more evidence to suggest we are biologically wired to connect, social media might in fact be bad for your health. Depending on how much you rely on social media to interact with people in your life, you might literally be starving when it comes to authentic connection.

The Bible reminds us that we’re better together than we are alone.

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5

In times of stress, while I appreciate messages of concern from electronic means, there’s nothing like a hug from a forever sister in Christ. And when it’s really bad, having a friend who will sit with me, even if in silence, is a precious gift.

This weekend, at all three services, we continue in our series on “Instagram Jesus.” During our services, you will hear a short testimony from a dear brother, who I have the pleasure of serving with at Celebrate Recovery. His life is a testimony to God’s amazing work and how the Celebrate Recovery community helped in his healing journey, connect with his church family, and experience God’s love. Maybe you might hear something in his story that will help you find a community to walk alongside you in this season. Chapel Hill has so many options for you to engage in this way.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life right now and by the fast paced stresses of the world, challenge yourself to experience real connection with God and your church family. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). The yoke of the world, of our lives, and the challenges of being a human, is heavy. But Jesus says, “step into my yoke”. It’s better. It’s lighter. He says His yoke brings true rest. Real rest. And real connection to the source of all Life.

Pray with me. Help us, Lord, to remember what’s true, what you value, and your plan for your church. Help us to remember each other, and to be present in our church family. Teach us how to do this life together, and to never settle for the lie that we don’t need it. Thank you for being with us, Lord. Thank you for letting us step into your yoke. It’s so much better with You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tags: celebrate recovery, gig harbor church, gig harbor community

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