It’s an acronym that stands for Fear Of Missing Out.
Jamie says I have it sometimes—especially on the holidays when I know that all my friends are doing fun things and we, well, we aren’t. (The 4th of July is the worst!)
So I guess I do have a little FOMO.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how FOMO has become a big problem for many Christians.
They see the things the world is doing and observe how much fun they seem to be having, then their fear of missing out causes them to think, “I need to do that, too!”
I see it all the time,
I heard it in the words of the young woman who told me she had to date non-Christians; otherwise, she’d never find a spouse.
Others have to watch that show or movie filled with the occult or pornography because everybody else is—they can’t be the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on.
“I have to drink,”
“I need to look at pornography,”
It’s even the reason our kids have to celebrate Halloween, even though if we were honest, we all know it’s a satanic holiday.
FOMO—we are so afraid of missing out on the world that we will compromise anything. Churches are so afraid of losing attendees they aren’t calling out sin and warning people of its dangers.
It isn’t a new problem. It started with Eve in the Garden when the serpent tempted her by saying that God kept good things from her. “Look at all you’re missing out on.” (Genesis 3)
She believed the lie and found out what she was really missing—a whole lot of pain and heartache.
There is another example we can follow.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”
Hebrews 11:24-26 NIV
Moses proves we have a choice. We can choose to experience the pleasure of sin for a season, or we can see the big picture and make a better choice.
We can choose to obey God.
We can acknowledge that although there might be a temporary pleasure in sin, it is only fleeting. Compromise ends in pain, but obedience reaps eternal rewards.
This is a choice that Jamie and I have made throughout our lives. We often choose to obey The Bible and stand by our convictions even when everyone else around us makes another choice. One of the things we are often asked is, “Don’t you feel like you are missing out?”
Our answer is, “Maybe there are some things we are missing. There are shows we don’t watch and movies we won’t see. There are places we won’t go and things we may never experience. But whoever said that following God wouldn’t involve sacrifice?
Yeah, there are things we may miss out on. But here’s one thing I don’t want to miss out on: I don’t ever want to do anything to lose God’s favor and anointing on my life. I don’t want to lose His blessing or His hand leading and guiding me. I don’t want to risk not hearing Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Talk about fear of missing out! These are things I can’t lose."
I don’t believe you can have it both ways. You have to sacrifice something. You cannot walk in step with the world and God because they are going in two different directions.
A choice must be made.
Which gives you more FOMO: missing something the world has to offer or missing God’s perfect will for your life?
Which will you choose: temporary gain or eternity?
I know my choice. No amount of FOMO will change my mind. How about you?
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.