It's Time We Focus On Being In The Presence Of God Rather Than Our Presence On Social Media

It's Time We Focus On Being In The Presence Of God Rather Than Our Presence On Social Media

"It's one thing to allow social media to affect us in our social life, but it's another thing to allow it to affect our relationship with God."

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What's the first thing we do when we wake up? Scroll through social media. What's the last thing we do at night before we go to bed? Scroll through social media.

Trust me, I'm not trying to hate on social media... I use social media more often than I would like to admit. However, as a society, I feel that we use it and let it shape us way too much. Let me give you an example: when we go out to eat with a group of friends or on a date with a significant other, there's probably a 90% chance a picture will be taken and posted before we even taste a bite of the food sitting in front of us.

Or what about the "take a picture and post it to Instagram/ Snapchat/ Facebook/ Twitter/ every other media platform out there or it didn't happen" motto? Again, I'm just as guilty of this as the next person (because I truly do love pictures capturing precious memories) but is it really necessary every. single. time? And then there's the issue of comparison. We tend to scroll through other's posts comparing ourselves and wondering why we aren't as pretty as she is, or why we aren't as fit as he is, but we tend to forget that social media is only the edited highlights of people's lives, not the true, raw, details of day to day life.

It's one thing to allow social media to affect us in our social life, taking away the opportunities to just enjoy and live in the moment instead of trying to capture it in a picture or on a video to post online, but it's another thing to allow social media to affect our relationship with God.

Again, here's an example that hits a little too close to home for me: I'm not going to lie, I do not sit down and read and study the Word as much as I wish I did. But when I do, what's something that typically interrupts that personal time with God? Stopping to take a cute, aesthetic picture of my Bible and journal to post to my Instagram or Snapchat story.

Or what about tweeting a Bible verse on Sunday and getting a lot of likes and retweets and feeling good about yourself? Is that really bringing the glory to God? Or is that really about making yourself feel good and like you've checked a "Christian duty" off your weekly to-do list?

Personally, I have gone through times when I've found myself allowing social media to negatively affect the way I viewed myself and others, so I deleted the apps off my phone for a little while. And of course, I found myself with more "free time" than I was used to. The best thing I could do with this time was spending time in the presence of God worshipping Him and studying His Word. Does that mean I always did that?

No.

Does that mean I never downloaded my social media apps again? No.

I'm just saying that a lot of the time we spend mindlessly scrolling through social media and letting it negatively affect our lives, sometimes unknowingly, can easily be replaced with spending time with our Creator and growing our relationship with Him. Why do we even care what others think of us anyway? We shouldn't let other's opinions or the number of likes on a post determine our self-worth because we are all beautifully and perfectly made by God in His image.

Just to make one last note because I know I am probably opening a can of worms by writing this article: I'm not saying social media is only negative. It can actually be used as a way to bring others to Christ and spread His Word. (And it's a great way to share posts and images to stay in touch with lots of friends and family.) I'm just speaking from the effects of the negative side and stating that we should not allow social media to affect our relationship with Christ. We need to set aside time for being in the presence of God, and often times, that time is taken up by mindlessly scrolling on social media.

So, what if when we woke up the first thing we did was open our Bible and spend quality time with God? What if the last thing we did before going to sleep was spent alone time with God praying and thanking him for everything he's given us? I challenge you, and myself, to replace some of our mindless scrolling with intentional time in the presence of God.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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5 Facts About Spiritual Gifts That You Need To Know

Different gifts, but from the same Spirit

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1 Corinthians 12:4-5 states; "[4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." We see that there are multiple spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Lord.

1. We all have different gifts and that's okay

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Just like a body has different parts that each has its own function, that's like the body of Christ. We all have different gifts and different purposes, but we're all part of the body of Christ. God has a plan for you and has given you certain gifts. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the calling.

2. There are various spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible

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Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are some of the bible passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, tongue interpretation, administration, discernment, hospitality, missionary, and evangelism are some of the spiritual gifts that people can have. We can desire any gift, but it's God's choice on what gifts He gives us.

Remember, everyone can receive speaking in tongues via baptism in the Holy Spirit, but not everyone will get the gift of tongue interpretation.

3. Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities that are either given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit

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God gave us these Spiritual gifts because God wants to invest in His church.

4. Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others

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We have spiritual gifts in order to help others.

5. It does take time for gifts to mature and develop

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Like with a skill that you have, it does take time for you to own said skill. You put in the work, and because of that, you grow in your skill, and you get better. That's the same way with your gifts. God gives each of us certain gifts to use, and it will take time to mature those gifts.

Spiritual gifts are important.

In Romans 12:6 states; "[6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

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