If you’re under 40 you probably are familiar with the acronym FOMO. It’s the abbreviation for Fear Of Missing Out. It’s such a compelling fear that millennials and generation Zers stay glued to their cell phones, checking their social media accounts lest they miss out on something important in their social sphere. Americans aren’t the only ones afflicted with FOMO. When Elsie and I were in England for a wedding, British radio calls those with FOMO, “cell phone zombies.” These are young people so busy checking their social media accounts for new information that they are oblivious to their surroundings and walk into other people, light poles, even traffic. Some have died.
What’s the driving force behind FOMO? It’s fear. Those with FOMO are afraid not to be current and up-to-date with everyone and everything in their world. They don’t want to miss out if someone’s romance splinters and ends. They don’t want to miss out on the party everyone’s going to on Friday after the football game. If they don’t constantly check their phones to stay abreast of all this information they might miss that someone is angry with someone else and is cutting off all ties to them.
Did you know that the Bible talks about FOMO? Yep. In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul tells them, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test” (2 Corinthians 13:5)? The fear of missing out on your salvation is the mother of all fears of missing out! The thought of missing out on forgiveness for our sins, missing out on eternal life, and missing out on reigning with Christ should make us shudder with fear. Missing out on salvation is the greatest fear of missing out. What my friends do or think on social media pales in comparison.
How do you overcome FOMO on salvation? Read again the above passage. Paul says the antidote to the fear of missing out on salvation is “test yourselves . . . examine yourselves.” What does this test look like and what should be the result? The test is a self-examination of my personal salvation. When, where, how, why, and what did I do to be saved? Did I pray with my parent, a pastor, or at a crusade? How old was I when that happened? Did anything change in me and in my life? Did it transform me and bear any fruit in my life? The result should be a fresh realization that Jesus Christ is in my life and is leading me in the decisions I make. He gives me assurance of my salvation. His Holy Spirit dwells in me and I want to obey God's Word. I am saved! No more fear of missing out!