“12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD,13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:12-13
God raised up Jeremiah to decry the evil of God’s people: they had forsaken God, who is like a “fountain of living waters” and turned to false gods who are like cisterns that can’t even hold the filthy rain water. This is essence of idolatry, we trade the Living God for dead false gods, we trade life for death, beauty for what is ugly.
This passage has been rolling around in my heart lately and it has been convicting for me particularly with my heart and how I use social media. There are many benefits and blessings to be had with social media—for an excellent book on all this see “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You.” But there is also so much that is worthless, vain, and empty. Depending on how we respond to what we see and how we approach social media as Christians, there is certainly the danger of trading the Living God for what is worthless and joy-stealing. I know that I can certainly find myself sipping on the sewage of social media instead of drinking deeply from the wells of the God in the gospel.
It is hard to precisely identity when godly use of social media turns to the profane or perverse, even if nothing obviously evil is consumed (like pornography). I believe the exchange happens when we start feeding off what others are thinking of us—instead of what God thinks of us—, or when starting sitting in a self-righteous judgment of others’ posts, or we find ourselves becoming jealous, or we start ingesting ideas or images in way that we know is ungodly in our hearts. When we do this, we are trying to drink water from broken cisterns and forsaking the living God.
This subtle slide into idolatry is easy to do when it comes to how we engage with social media. I know that I have far to go in learning how to pursue godliness with social media and my phone in general, but praise God for the ways that He is growing me in it and pray for more of His grace moving forward in it.