In a recent “Guideposts” magazine article, author Jeff Chu, commented on the number of miles he has logged throughout the country on his travels as a journalist. One of his favorite parts of the landscape, he says, is reading church signs. He has seen the basics like “God Loves You,” and those that cite scripture, like John 3:16.
However, the most memorable church sign he saw was at Greenwood Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia. The sign, says Chu, was designed to tackle a modern addiction: social media. The sign stated, “Get Off of Facebook and into My Book.”
Chu, who admits to being an online “junkie,” says the website has quickly become a modern-day meeting place where we can reconnect with others from various stages of our lives. While it can be a wonderful thing, says Chu, the church sign was a vital reminder to log on where it really counts by spending time with our Heavenly Father in reading His Word and in prayer.
While we usually associate the word “junkie” with doing drugs, anything for which we have an insatiable craving, can become an obsession. We can become a chocolate junkie, a sports junkie, a news junkie, a political junkie or an adrenaline junkie. Anything can become an addiction if we allow it to control our lives and if it becomes an out-of-control habit.
However, one definition of junkie, according to “Thesaurus.com,” is disciple, and includes the following synonyms: believer, follower, apostle, pupil and witness. Looking at this definition and its synonyms, we might then say that the 12 disciples were Jesus junkies. I like that.
What does it mean to be a Jesus junkie? Besides being a believer, we must become a follower. In Luke 9, Jesus tells his disciples that one must be willing to deny himself, which doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
A Jesus junkie is also an apostle. The word “apostle,” derived from Greek, means “one who is sent away,” while the literal meaning in English is “emissary” or messenger. So, as a Jesus junkie, we are required to carry the Good News to others. To understand the message we are to share, we must become pupils or students of Jesus Christ. How can we teach what we don’t know? If we are to be effective witnesses, or Jesus junkies, we have to stay focused on the Word. This means logging in daily to the Bible, God’s Holy Word.
When we crave a deeper relationship with Him, instead of staying focused on worldly things, our desires change. While there is nothing wrong with staying in touch with our friends and family through social media, our first priority should be improving the most important relationship we can ever have. The Contemporary English Version of Proverbs 8:34 says, “Come to my home each day and listen to me. You will find happiness.”
I think that is the best invitation I’ve ever had. Don’t you?