FOMO is Real.
You Are Missing Out
A Lesson from Psalm 1 for Students
FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.
Snapchats from parties we aren’t at. Group texts you aren’t in. Knowing your friends are gaming or at the gym while you’re stuck at the library. We know there’s something better out there. And we’re sure we are missing it.
Some people might try to tell you FOMO is all in your mindset.
I’m not going to do that.
FOMO is real. You ARE missing out.
But the life and happiness you believe is “out there” isn’t found at a party or in any of the amazing things other people are posting about.
Psalm 1 describes a man who is blessed. We’re not talking #blessed because it’s sunny outside or your crush liked your Insta photo.
Instead, blessed means happy, just not in the way we normally use the word.
Biblically, a person who is blessed is one who has a joy circumstances can’t overcome. The word actually implies something “straight” or “right.” A blessed person is someone who is right with God and experiences joy no matter what’s going on in their life. In other words, this blessed person is one who has found real life.
Here’s what the psalm says:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”
Where is life? Life is found in a book. No wonder so many of us haven’t experienced it!
Maybe if it was a Netflix series or a YouTube video we would, but instead He wrote us a book!
And it’s clear: Life is found in that book.
You want to be blessed, right? Then what is getting in the way?
Before we look at how life is found in this book, it’s important to know what will keep us out of it:
- Walk in the counsel of the wicked- allowing friends or peers to dictate your life and moral decisions. Peer pressure (popularity, acceptance, respect).
- Stand in the path of sinners- setting yourself before sin, but not “participating.” Impure or excessive media intake (Netflix, music, video games).
- Sit in the seat of scoffers- “scoff” means to boast or mock (social media, comparison, looking down on others).
Believing any of these things will keep us from getting into His Word.
We can easily think we, not God, know the way to find life:
- Life is found in fun.
- Life is found in pleasure.
- Life is found in success.
- Life is found on a screen.
- Life is found in popularity or sports or grades or money.
There’s a better way.
The psalm says it like this: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”
How on earth can a 21st century American college student actually enjoy reading a book?
Simple- Tell the rest of the world to shut up for a moment!
Put the phone away. Turn the tv off. Step out of the noise and get away to read God’s Word.
This verse doesn’t say to just read the book, it says to delight in it!
Here’s what I’ve found- If I can give this book some time and focus, it fills me like nothing else can.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
If we can believe that then something will happen.
We’ll start thinking about it. That word meditate simply means to think about. Our mind constantly wanders to the things we enjoy. If you can learn to delight in the Word, then you’ll find yourself thinking about it.
But is it really possible to enjoy? We need some convincing.
That’s where the psalm continues:
“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers”
Firmly planted– We live in an unstable world. Many of us have been affected by divorce or emotionally unhealthy homes. We’ve been hurt by unresolved conflict, sickness, or death. So much in our future is uncertain. Stability is found in a book.
Streams of water– What more could a tree ask for if it is planted next to a stream of water? A tree’s needs are pretty simple- sun and water. The sun is everywhere, and here this tree never lacks water. This tree is provided for. Provision is found in a book.
Yields its fruit in its season– Did you know that scientists judge the success of every living thing on earth by one criteria? Fitness- which is measured by “the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive age.” Do you want a life that counts for something and outlives itself? Purpose is found in a book.
Its leaf does not wither– Speaking of science, do you know why leaves change color? They’re dying! When the tree ceases to get enough sunlight, it begins eating the protein in its leaves. That protein is called chlorophyll, and it’s green. Those pretty colors tell a dark story! Think about that next fall. But not this tree. This tree’s leaves do not wither, it is sustained. Life is found in a book.
In whatever he does, he prospers– Money? Not quite. Biblically, prosperity isn’t measured by wealth but by something deeper. True prosperity is having real, fulfilling friendships. A healthy marriage that lasts and thrives rather than diminishes. Wisdom for life that saves from pain and regret. Character and a sense of self-worth. Prosperity is found in a book.
God wants you to be happy.
Here is how we can apply this and enjoy real life:
Minimize influence of the world:
- What in your life is influencing you away from God and His Word?
- Are there friends who guilt you into doing things you don’t want to?
- Is there a show or a series or a habit that takes your thoughts and heart away from God?
- Is it social media; excessive time in it or obsessive thoughts about it? Make a change!
- Maximize influence of the Word
- Find a way to delight and meditate in God’s Word. That starts by simply getting into it.
- Find a plan for reading the Bible and stick to it. Give it the same priority in your day as eating or sleeping. Life is found in a book, and if you want that life, you have to get into it.