I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I'm gonna write this on the assumption that it happens to a lot of us. I think we all live our spiritual lives vicariously through other Christians. I know I certainly do, but I haven't realized it until recently. I suppose it might be our Facebook generation mentality, where we want to see what everyone else is doing all the time. I know that for me, when it comes to prayer, I'd rather feel God's love through a sermon, book or a youtube video. So instead of taking a walk and praying, I spend the rest of the night looking for a piece of media that will scratch the itch that I have.
We do this with Facebook and I even wrote a blog about it in the past. When we have a craving for social interaction we get on Facebook and after a few hours of checking up on your friends, you feel like you've interacted with people, you can then go to bed. Even sometimes I just get on Facebook to see what everyone is up to so I can hang out with them, but I get distracted and a certain amount of time passes and I've gotta go to bed and I have a false sense of interaction with my friends.
I think that a lot of times we want to feel God's love so we look up pastors that talk about how God loved them. And I think that's fine, but there is a certain point we need to experience God for ourselves. I think that's what it means to have a personal relationship with God.
If I had a friend that was really funny and we had a lot of mutual friends. I could easily just ask my mutual friends what he has been up to, what jokes has he said recently. After a certain amount of time, I can have had a good laugh over the jokes he's said. But I still haven't hung out with him. I think I might know him a bit more as well. But how much more would I have laughed if I were there with him, in the moment, how much more would I have learned about him if I was there seeing his reactions and facial expressions?
I think we do this with God. We go to church, read books, watch youtube videos, listen to songs, even read blogs in hopes that we can get an update on what God has been saying. But that's all we want right? Don't we check Facebook to see what our friends have been up to? Don't we just get an impersonal update? I'm telling you, it's far better to hang out with someone and do life with them, then do life separately and get occasional updates.
I want to end making sure that you are aware that this blog isn't anti-facebook, please don't get lost in the analogy. I'm just saying that I believe that we might be just getting updates from God. Getting the feeling that we've spent time with him because we listened to someone that just has. Maybe we don't need another blog, another sermon, another song. Maybe we've been hoping that the next blog, next song, next sermon is going to change our lives and hearts. That one last one is gonna make something in our hearts click. They feel close, they feel like it almost did, so we keep searching for the next bit of media that's gonna change our lives.
From a similar blog that I was reminded of while writing this:
"Sometimes I feel the need to spend time with God so I fill that void with the Bible which only lasts for a moment. I know that sounds contradictory, but reading the Bible isn’t God, in fact Jesus even says it, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” Scriptures, books, worship songs, conversations with other Christians, these are all great but they should be pointing us to God, not giving us a sense of fulfillment so we stop at these."*
Taken from my blog: Porn:Facebook:Bible