I have always read about fasting in the Bible but I had never done any kind of fast. After some praying and reading scripture I felt led to do my first fast. I thought through what I felt was distracting me from God. I always had excuses for why I didn’t do my devotional for that day or why I didn’t read my Bible but of course these were just excuses. If I really analyzed my day I realized that I was spending a decent amount of time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest. This lead to me fasting Facebook for 1 week.
I was wasting a lot of time that I could have been spending building my relationship with God and I could have been reading my Bible app or spending time praying. I am not saying that social media is a bad thing and obviously I use it myself to promote this blog, but I think it can become a problem if we are using it every single day and it is distracting us too much.
What does the Bible say about fasting?
There are many examples of people fasting in the Bible. Some examples of fasting in the Bible are Daniel, Esther, and of course Jesus. If we know that Jesus used fasting in his own life we know it’s important for us as well. When Jesus went up into the mountain for 40 days he was tempted by the Devil, but through prayer and fasting he resisted as we all know.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The temptercame to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Typically fasting is speaking of with holding from eating food, although you can fast other things if you feel they are distracting you from your relationship with God, replace this thing with time with God. In this example I fasted Facebook and used that same time on my Bible app instead of scrolling through Facebook. I really enjoyed doing this and feel that it has changed my days. I now look forward to reading scriptures and doing devotionals and I no longer have the excuse that I don’t have time.
Distraction From My Family
I also noticed that social media was distracting me from my family. While I was giving my kids a bath I would be checking Facebook. While I was “watching” my son jump on the trampoline, I was checking Facebook. I wasn’t truly in the moment with my kids and this bothered me. My whole lifestyle choice with minimalism is to be more in the moment with my children and not distracted by things. I am thankful that God laid it on my heart to do this Facebook fast. Will I get on Facebook again? Most likely, but I will be much more guarded of my time. The Devil wants to distract me from God and my family and we must be aware of when he is trying to build a wedge in these relationships.
What I learned from fasting social media for 7 days.
Life will go on if I don’t get on Facebook.
It may seem like life will stop if you don’t get on Facebook or that you will miss something important such as who got engaged or who is pregnant. However, the truth is you will find those things out later and honestly we don’t have to know every detail of every persons life. It’s okay not to know what someone had for lunch or where they went on vacation.
Facebook hinders friendships, it doesn’t foster them.
I use to say Facebook helps me stay in touch with family and friends, but actually the opposite is true. I have no need to stay in touch with people because I feel I already know what they are doing. Months may go by without hanging out with someone or talking to them on the phone, but I feel like I have been with them because I see all they are doing on Facebook. Keeping a relationship with someone is more than just following their Facebook feed. We need to spend time together in person, talking on the phone, and really bond with each other.
I can still take pictures of my family without sharing them on Facebook.
It is possible to take pictures and make memories with my family without posting them on Facebook. The validation that it’s on social media doesn’t make it more real. Your memories are still just as important even without posting them on Facebook.
My take away from this experience is that from now on I will be careful with how much time I am spending on social media. I will be more aware of when it is taking too much time away from what is truly important to me, my time with God and with my family.
Do you feel like social media may be affecting your life in a negative way? I challenge you to pray about it and see if God will lead you on a Facebook fast. Let me know how it goes for you. I would love to hear about your experience.