Months ago Jefferson Bethke recommended this book to his following on social media, so I hurried off to one of my favorite places ever, Barnes & Noble, (#nerdalert) and purchased it right away. Mostly because I admire the Bethke’s and greatly respect their opinions, but also because the subtitle, “Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World” caught my attention and tugged on my heart. You know when you hear something and it resonates with you and you just can’t shake it? That’s exactly what I’m talking about.
If you’re a bookworm like me, you may struggle with being bombarded by so many “must reads.” I offer no excuse or reason besides prioritizing other great reads as the explanation for why it wasn’t until today, while flying from Chicago to Philadelphia, that I finally ended up reading it; a book I felt so strongly and excited about, #Struggles. I was entranced by Groeschel’s words throughout my flight (well, when I wasn’t napping that is) and during our layover. Let it be known- this book WRECKED me.
You see, I’m truly doing my best to follow Jesus in world of self(ie)-centeredness, but I fall short daily. And if I’m being honest, heck, I’m (part of) the problem. I’m GUILTY.
Call it narcissism, vanity, or just plain old full of myself: I contribute to our self(ie)-centered world.
I contribute by constantly documenting my life, obsessing over the prettiest filters, spending so much time on the “perfect” caption, tempting other people to compare theirs to mine, feeding my Dopamine addiction as each “like” heart notification pops up… you get the idea.
Ask yourself honestly, do you contribute to our selfie-centered world? Are you ever torn between a love for the good in social media and the evil it can stir up? If so, this book is for you. Like it did for me, I can assure you it will convict and challenge you, while opening the eyes of your heart if you allow.
I even texted my husband to say that I’m mad at you, Craig Groeschel. But I also want to give you a big hug and say thanks. Kind of the way a child does when their parent acknowledges a wrong-doing and, despite embarrassment or shame, they’re thankful somebody cares and loves them through it.
With over 50 sticky notes (probably hundreds of mark-ups) in the book and a soul determined to be filled up by Jesus alone, I have decided to implement multiple strategies that Groeschel offers in #Struggles. If I shared them all, you would have no reason to go snag this book for yourself, and I believe it’s that good that I don’t want to hinder or prevent you from doing so. Instead, I’ll share just one that I’m going to start practicing.
It comes from the “Replenishing Rest” chapter and it’s called “Just Five Minutes.” It’s where you schedule an appointment for yourself every single day to do nothing for 5 minutes. It sounds ridiculous, stupid, and perhaps you’re thinking – easy. However, I can admit that five idle minutes are currently no where to be found in my day and if they do exist, they’re probably spent scrolling through my Instagram feed. Perhaps my book should be titled #Pathetic 🙁
I know this daily five minute appointment will be extremely difficult for me because my biggest struggle is being still. I also have a chronic problem with over-scheduling myself and feeling the need to keep up with everyone on social media. For a variety of reasons I will probably attempt to get out of this five minute appointment and justify myself whenever I miss it, but I need to at least give it my best shot. I don’t want social media (or anything) to be the master of my life. Jesus shall be the one and only ruler of my life.
I want to find the discipline, by the power that raised Christ from the dead and now lives in me, to just be still.
My prayer today: Lord, I surrender my self(ie) to you, once again. Lift my veil, Jesus. Help me to find my identity totally and completely in you alone. Resurrect compassion within me. Heal me and break me of any idols that remain in my heart.
Y’all, I want to take this book and get it into the hands of those who need it most. I want to pass on the goodness of #Struggles with as many people as possible. Thus, the birth of #SisterhoodOfTheTravelingBook.
If you want to be the first person I mail my copy (inked-up, sticky-noted and all) to (and promise to then mail it forward to another sister), please share this post and leave a comment openly admitting your current struggle with social media. Admitting our struggles is the first step in overcoming them! I will contact the chosen recipient privately to get the address and ship it out early next week.
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Manda's weekly letters on faith, marriage, motherhood, soul care, social justice - and occasionally the collision of it all.