When Social Media Fills My Psychological Cup
Earlier this week I wrote a post about my heart being a psychological cup after reading “When People are Big and God is Small” by Dr. Ed Welch. The convicting idea in his book is that we view ourselves as cups full of emotional needs (to be loved, respected, etc) and often use other people to fill our cups. By itself that isn’t necessarily a bad thing since we need to love one another, however when our cups become low the love of others becomes an idol that we absolutely must have at all costs.
The truly sad thing is our emotional or psychological cups are meant to filled by God as we meditate on His Word, pray, worship, and allow Him to speak to us in the silence of life’s quiet moments. Or by a conversation with a brother or sister in Christ.
Yet we live in a world that allows us to fill our cups one mouse click at a time
I absolutely love social media because it gives me the chance to connect with people all around the world. It’s possible today to send a praise, prayer request, ministry update, picture, or video in seconds. If the person has the right technology it’s even possible to send text-messages or make a phone call!
But that blessing is also a curse since its as easy to send a message about being depressed as it is to send one praising God.
“What’s the big deal?” You may ask. “All of us have bad days from time to time, in fact this could be a good thing since it reminds people missionary’s have bad days too.”
It is true that people should know missionaries have bad days, but I know from experience after sharing a post about being depressed people will begin flooding my Facebook page with encouraging comments and heartfelt prayers. Within moments my cup that was running dangerously low will be absolutely overflowing with confidence because Christian bothers and sisters have ministered to me!
So what is the big deal? My cup wasn’t meant to be filled that way.
My longing for love was created to be filled with God’s presence and deep-relationships with others
- Relationships that center on face to face conversations (awkward silence included)
- That have accountability partners who lovingly point out a weakness and lead towards repentance if necessary
- That may not give the complete and total acceptance I crave (I may not deserve it)
These kind of relationships are difficult because instead of filling our emotional cup they may question why that cup is so empty in the first place, and more importantly, why we MUST HAVE their love. This leads to conversations that involves things like authenticity, conviction, and confession before true restoration can take place.
Satan knows God’s way of filling our cups is difficult and painful, so he responds by offering a much easier way of filling them…just write a Facebook post and allow others to fill our hearts with love.
I’m not saying it’s a sin to ask for encouragement or prayer on social media because there are days when the Lord uses encouraging words online. But this way of filling my cup keeps me from noticing bad days draw me towards God. My cup being low is the Lords way of telling me I need to talk things through with a Christian friend or spend more time with Him in prayer and meditation on Scripture…but my first thought is to look for an easier way out.
Last Monday I was getting over a stomach virus so while my mind and heart wanted to be productive my body was saying “nope your going to lay in bed all afternoon.” By six the annoyance level had reached its limit (spastic people hate to be unproductive)so I was going to write a Facebook post expressing frustration but decided to spend a few hours reading on the porch reading and listening to worship music instead.
The Lord used that time in Scripture, Christian books, and Pandora to give a deeper vision of my ministry in St. Vincent and a conviction about focusing on busyness instead of teaching others the truth of Christ.
To be honest it would have felt a lot better to let people fill me up online Monday night. But that time on the porch was what I truly needed.