ORIGIN: acronym from FEAR OF MISSING OUT
DEFINTION: the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you.
FOMO is thrown around a lot these days. So often in fact that it was added into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015. From the definition above, it’s not a good thing and yet, a study by ScienceDirect reported that nearly three quarters of the surveyed youth and young adults experience this phenomenon.
While all this seems like a “21st century” thing, Tony Reinke provides great insight when he observes that FOMO is an ancient phobia first seen when the serpent slid up to Eve and planted FOMO within her, “eat of it (the fruit) and you will be like God” (Gen 3:5).
“FOMO was Satan’s first tactic to sabotage the God-man relationship, and it worked. And it still does…FOMO shapes our desires from childhood into adulthood. FOMO is there in midlife crises and falls into our empty nests. FOMO burns into the elderly years when the sting of missing out becomes more and more obvious.” (Tony Reike)
Here are three suggestions which might help us battle against FOMO:
1. Hone in to Jesus
Jesus knows all about our FOMOs. Little wonder then the Living Word of God Himself has given us many assurances that in Christ, we can overcome the anxiety that FOMO brings. Take some of these verses to heart and commit them to memory!
- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
- “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
- “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11)
2.Heart of Gratitude
The Apostle Paul is one of the best examples of how one can overcome FOMO. Philippians 4 is a deep expression of his heart of gratitude toward God:
“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God… 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:6,12-13)
Gratitude is one of our strongest allies against FOMO. So let’s give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and continually testify of all of God’s wonderful deeds (Psalm 9:1).
3.Heaven is our Home
Jesus reminds us in John 17:14,16 that we are not of the world, just as Jesus is not of the world as well. He reminds us as disciples of His, we are instead SENT INTO the world we live in. For Peter, we are sojourners (1 Peter 2:11) and Paul call us citizens of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). Heaven is our ultimate destination and we would do well to constantly remember that.
Tony Reike continues – “Heaven is God’s eternal response to all of the FOMOs of this life. Heaven will restore every “missing out” thousands of times over and over again throughout all of eternity (Acts 3:21)”
Therefore, let us forget what lies behind and “strain forward to what lies ahead [and] press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).
By Adrian Ow, Assistant Pastor (YCKC Bulletin 30 June & 1 July 2018)