Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram only to come across an account of someone in a new outfit or on a beach and then immediately wonder, “I think it’s time for me to buy a new outfit (or book a vacation”…)
Yeah. Us too.
There are times that we all may have fallen victim to the fear of missing out (you know, FOMO). This fear is not a new phenomenon, but one that is highlighted in our culture, freshly defined but no different in substance.
It’s easy to purchase things that we know we don’t need when they are consistently marketed to us on a daily basis. Perhaps you have fallen into this pressure by overspending on things or experiences that really didn’t excite you in order to “fit in.” This type of behavior can likely leave us broke and unhappy.
The FOMO mentality is the feeling that we’re going to be left out if we don’t participate in some sort of activity or the latest hype.
In our society where social media has taken over as a primary source of communication, we have instant access to pretty much anything that we can imagine.
With all we can desire and imagine in front of us, we can begin to compare … and ya’ll, the trap of comparison is REAL!
Social media can fool us into thinking that what someone posts on their Instagram is their actual life. But the reality is, people mostly post what they want you to see. Unfortunately, we tend to compare our life’s ups and downs to others’ highlight reels. It’s no wonder that social media has been known to be a significant factor in the rising number of people with anxiety and depression.
When it comes to our finances, the FOMO mindset can really have us out here spending tons of money that we don’t have to impress people we don’t know.
We see the people we follow going on trips out of the country or driving a new car, and sometimes we can begin to feel as though we should be doing the same. Hence, we splurge because, hey … we don’t want to miss out on the lavish life.
The truth is, a large portion of our generation is ill prepared for an emergency because of the fasle “need” to flex on social media. We must stop comparing the good or bad things happenings in our lives to that of others.
In order to combat the fear of missing out and the comparison trap, we need to practice contentment.
In Philippians 4:11-13 the Apostle Paul writes, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Whew! So whether we have a lot or hardly anything at all, God will provide and give us strength no matter the season. This truth is all the more reason for us to be content. When we live a content life, we don’t concern ourselves much with attaining the latest and greatest. When we are at peace where we are, we are often concerned with where God has us in this season of our lives and the purpose that he wants us to walk out.
When we begin to take hold of this word of contentment, desires in our lives will lose their grip on us and we will become more responsible with what we already have — particularly, our finances.
If we’re going to be serious about securing our bags, we must learn how to be content.
People who walk in peace about where they are in life tend to be more financially successful and these folks tend to save more money for their future. Wise men and women see the value in delayed gratification and are willing to give up small things that add up like eating out frequently, buying the newest iPhone, or taking expensive trips. Financial sacrifices now will often payoff in the end with financial stability and freedom as the profit.
Godliness with contentment is of great gain. Let’s remember to keep a God-centered life even in the midst of pressure to attain more. May we be content with our portion and steward all that we have been entrusted.
Mariah Street is an attorney for a state government agency, where she loves serving the state’s population. To her, serving and loving on God’s people in any way she can is an honor and privilege. Mariah is continuously chasing after God’s purpose for her life and seeks to encourage others to do the same by living an intentional, God-led life.