Americans are an obsessed nation. We are preoccupied, fixated, infatuated, and addicted.
Are you starting to see a trend here? The idea of an obsession has a negative connotation. Generally speaking, an obsession is not a good thing.
I’ll grant you that an obsession can be good – it’s good to be obsessed with Jesus, and your spouse, and doing the right things. But our national obsession doesn’t fall into those categories. Our obsession is different and it’s harmful.
The American Obsession is a very narrow thing. It’s knowing all we can about other people. We have entered an era where we as a nation are obsessed with knowing about the personal lives of someone else. We can’t get enough of the intimate details of their lives. We are living vicariously.
We’re obsessed with the President’s latest tweet; with what someone posted on Facebook; with which celebrity did what; with who did what to whom; with the tawdry gossip of Hollywood; with someone’s baby bump.
The obsession with the personal lives of other people has become an epidemic. Not only are we fixated on knowing the intimate details of other people’s lives, but we think that we have a right to know.
Why do we check our cell phones as soon as we get out of bed? Why do we want to know what the President tweeted during the night? Why do we jump on our Facebook accounts as soon as we can? It’s so we don’t miss anything.
If you don’t think that you’re obsessed I’d challenge you to think back over your social media usage from the past week. How much time did you spend on social media? What were you hoping to find?
This obsession with the lives of other people is harmful to our culture. We have destroyed privacy. We have become convinced that living vicariously is better than living personally. We have made the lives of other people far more important than they really are and in the process we’ve made our lives far less important than they really are.
This also has a harmful spiritual component. As Christians we need to be concerned with our own personal lives – not with the lives of other people. We need to make sure that we are living out the gospel (Philippians 1:27); that we represent Christ well (2 Corinthians 5:20); that we are not swallowed up by the attitudes, thought patterns, goals and desires of this world (Romans 12:2); that we don’t fall in love with what the world loves (1 John 2:15-16); that our minds are set on the things of God (Colossians 3:1-3).
Christians need to begin pushing back against The American Obsession. We need to take back our lives and in the process live them well.
We are not responsible for how someone else lives their life. We will answer for how we live our lives.
Stay in the Word