Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO

David stared at himself in the mirror for a long time. What had he done? How did this happen? His heart ached so much in his chest that he felt strangled. What was he going to do now? He was such a fool. Anger at himself welled up and he punched the mirror, breaking it and cutting his knuckles badly. 

“David?” His Dad called.

David scrambled to get to his bathroom and wash his hand off before his dad came in.

“What happened?” His dad looked at the mess of the mirror and David’s hand wrapped in a towel. David couldn’t meet his father’s eye. He was so ashamed of what he’d done. 

“I’m sorry, Dad. I’ll pay for the mirror. I didn’t mean to make a mess.” David’s dad sat down in his desk chair.

“Forget the mirror. What’s going on?” 

David stared a hole in the floor. “Nothing.” 

Dad sat silent, waiting. David’s heart began to pound. He recognized the feeling. It was the same pounding, sick feeling he’d gotten when it was over. Conviction. He tried to swallow it down but he just couldn’t. He looked up at his dad and everything just broke loose. He began sobbing as his dad wrapped his arms around him. Dad led him over to the bed to sit down and continued to hold him until he had stopped crying. “Dad, I messed up so much.” His dad just continued to comfort him.

“Why don’t you tell me what’s going on, okay? We’ll try to make it right.” David jumped up from the bed.

“I can’t make this right, Dad!” David exploded. Dad held up his hands. “Whoa. Let’s talk. Just tell me what happened.” David felt horrible for yelling at his dad. “I messed up.” David’s throat worked as he tried to keep from crying again. “Shea and I had sex.” David hung his head and sat down in the desk chair. “I thought it would be great, but all I feel is empty. The guys at school made it seem so cool and it felt like I was missing out. Now I just feel sick.” Dad knelt in front of David so he could look him in the eye. “David, the reason you feel sick is because you have violated God’s commands. You have taken something that doesn’t belong to you and you have given away something that doesn’t belong to you. You got caught up in covetousness and now you know it never fulfills the promises it makes. It only makes you sick.” David wiped his eyes.” “Covetousness? I thought that was just wanting something that someone else had.”

“It is.” Dad said. “You wanted to experience what someone else had experienced. Coveting doesn’t always involve ‘things’. As you’ve discovered, it can also involve experiences. Wanting to know how something feels can get you in just as much, if not more, trouble than wanting some thing that someone else has.” David nodded.

“I was just so afraid I was missing out. I wanted to be like everyone else.” He replied.

“But you’re not like everyone else. Remember? We are called to be set apart. Different. You will never miss out on what God has for you because He will send it when He knows when you’re ready to receive it.” David sat back down on the bed next to his father. “So what do I do now?” He asked.

“Well, you can’t change what you’ve done, but you can ask for forgiveness and choose to live God’s way until you are married. I know it’s not easy, but God gave us boundaries for a purpose. This will be a hard learned lesson, but I know you can make the right choice. You want me to pray with you?” 

David nodded his head and they knelt beside the bed. 

Follow up Verse

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:1-2 

OPERATION: ACTIVATE

Is fear of missing out (FOMO) ruling your life? Reflect on your current situation. Are you living within the safety of God’s boundaries for you? If not, repent and choose to return to God. He loves you and only wants what’s best for you. Living His way will cast out FOMO and free you to live a life that glorifies God.

https://www.learnreligions.com/lies-teens-tell-themselves-on-sex-and-dating-712550

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Making Good Choices

Ill Gotten Goodies

Sasha looked through the desk drawers for the notebook Mrs. Richards wanted. She finally found it in the bottom drawer. When she lifted it out, she discovered a box of candy bars. Her stomach rumbled. She’d skipped snack today because she forgot her money. She lifted the lid. There were several in there. Would she notice if she took one? She could always buy one at the snack store tomorrow and replace it. Her stomach rumbled even louder. Sasha took a candy bar and closed the lid. She’d replace it tomorrow. 

The next day, Sasha was talking with her friends on the way to the snack store. When it was her turn, she got her wallet out to buy a snack, and the replacement candy bar. “$3.50” the attendant said. Sasha opened her wallet.  Where was all her money? She knew she had ten dollars in there yesterday. “Uhm, I need to put the candy bar back. Just the juice please.” Sasha said. She handed the attendant the only dollar bill in her wallet. What was she going to do? She needed to replace the candy bar in Mrs. Richards’s desk before she noticed. All day Sasha worried over the situation. When she got to Mrs. Richards’s classroom, Mrs. Richards had the bottom drawer open pulling everything out of it. “Are you looking for your notebook again? I think you left it on the podium.” Sasha said. 

“No. Today is special snack and I know I counted fifteen candy bars, but when I checked the box, there were only fourteen,” she sighed. “I guess one of the kids won’t be getting a candy bar.” Sasha swallowed. She felt terrible. She never should have taken the candy bar. What would she do now?

Mrs. Richards reached for her purse and pulled out a five dollar bill. “Sasha, can you go down to the snack store and buy me another candy bar? I can’t believe I miscounted.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Sasha took the money and walked to the snack store, feeling sicker with every step. She had to tell Mrs. Richards the truth and face the consequences.

When she returned, Mrs. Richards was setting up the special snack. “Thank you, Sasha. Just put the change in my desk. I’m so glad we caught my mistake in time.”

Sasha swallowed hard. “Mrs. Richards, it wasn’t your mistake. I’m so sorry.” Sasha looked at the floor. “I took a candy bar yesterday because I forgot my snack. I intended to replace it this morning, but when I opened my wallet, my money was missing. I am so sorry for taking the candy without asking.” 

Mrs. Richards sighed. “Sasha, I am disappointed in your actions, but thank you for being truthful. You could have easily lied and gotten away with it. Have you learned your lesson?”

“Yes, ma’am. I never want to take anything without permission again.”

Follow Up Verse  

“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15

F.I.T. – Follow It Through 

Do not take things that do not belong to you without permission.

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