Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Editor attempts to follow Jesus, not celebrities, in social media era


As a journalism major, I find myself submerged in the topic of social media more and more.
It’s something that is changing the way people interact with each other.
At this point, it’s almost unheard of to not have any type of social media account.
Celebrities on social media have a huge following. Cristiano Ronaldo has the most followers on Instagram with 183 million. Ariana Grande is next, with 164 million followers.
It is so easy to hit that little blue “follow” button on our screens, but what does it really mean to follow someone?
You get constant updates and a personal look into their daily life; you feel like you really know that person.
Without fail, we all know a fan who thinks they are actually friends with a celebrity because they know everything about that person and may have even had an interaction with them on social media.
Although harsh, the reality is that whatever celebrity you may be thinking of, he or she is not actually your friend.
The relationship there is almost nonexistent, so why do we continue to put our time and energy into following these people?
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus calls us to follow him.
He asks us to follow him several times throughout the Bible but this passage sticks out to me the most:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” Matthew 16:24 (NIV).
When Jesus calls us to be his followers, he tells us to deny our expectations of whatever earthly world we have imagined and submit to him.
Unlike following someone on social media, our relationship with Jesus is real.
When you decide to follow Jesus, he creates a relationship with you. He wants to be part of your life.
Jesus’ disciples left behind all their belongings, their family and everything that made them who they were to follow Jesus. How many of us would do that today?
His disciples knew that it was a small sacrifice to make because by following Jesus, they were becoming part of something bigger; they were becoming part of an eternal life in God.
The Bible reminds us that, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” Romans 10:9 (NIV).
By following Jesus and proclaiming him as Lord, the disciples were saved.
The great thing about God is that he gives us this opportunity every day to declare Jesus as Lord and follow him.
He wants to know and have a relationship with every one of us.
The Bible says, “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” Acts 17:27 (NIV).
Next time you’re scrolling through social media and find yourself obsessing over a new fad or comparing yourself to celebrities, think of how you could be following God. He wants us to follow him; all we have to do is listen.

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