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Seeds of the Kingdom

No More FOMO

by Peter Brokaar

27 January 2020

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So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Matthew 6:31-32, NIV

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has probably been around since the fall of mankind, but the term has become more widely used over the last ten years. With the rise of the internet, and social media in particular, people’s feelings of anxiety have skyrocketed. Many feel they are missing out, they are being left out, and their lives are not as wonderful and fulfilling as those of others. Polished snapshots of seemingly happy and beautiful people on social media continually feed these feelings of anxiety and inner distress.

I remember reading about J.D. Rockefeller. Still considered the richest man in modern times, he was the first American billionaire, back in the early 1900’s. During an interview, his response to the question, “How much money is enough?” was “Just a little bit more”. Although he originally set out to make $100,000, but then discovered he had an insatiable desire to keep increasing his wealth. It was never enough to satisfy him.
We can learn from this in our current struggles with FOMO, powerfully fanned into flames in our social media age. We might think, “If only I had what these other people have, then I would feel happy”. But this is a lie.

Amazingly, long before the invention of internet, we find the answer to this problem in the Bible. Paul was able to share from his own experience of life, ‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation’ (Philippians 4:11-12). And the ‘secret’ to being content is a principle which applies to all situations at all times.

It is not having what we want which makes us content. Only appreciating what we already have can do that. This is why Paul was content, whether he had a lot or a little. And we can be like that too, when we thank God for what we already have. This applies not only to money but to friends, social life, romance - every sphere of life. The miracle is that, when we thank God and appreciate what we already have, it suddenly becomes enough.
In this life we have Jesus with us at all times, in all circumstances, in all places. In our future life we will have heaven with Him. It is ours to enjoy forever. Whatever the world has to offer, it cannot compete with God. So, think about it, it is impossible for us, as God’s children, to ‘miss out’.

Prayer: Father in heaven, You know when I feel unhappy, discontent or ungrateful. You see my inner anxieties and fears. Please forgive me for being caught up in wanting what others have. I now choose to thank You for what You have already given me and also for what You have promised me in the life to come. Thank You for being such a great Father. Amen.

Peter Brokaar is Co-Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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