“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
In case you did not have enough on your mind, a new anxiety-phobia has affected many people. It’s called FOMO (the fear of missing out). In fact, the word FOMO was added to the Oxford English dictionary a couple of years ago.
What is FOMO, anyway? It’s that gnawing concern that you might have missed out on something important. Missing out? But on what? On what other people are doing. They’re having exciting experiences that you’re not. Your friends went to the concert of the year, but you did not. Your neighbor’s child was accepted by a prestigious college, but your child was not. A Facebook friend just took the vacation of a lifetime, and you did not. A workmate got married, and you are still single.
Have you seen those books with the title “__ Places to See Before You Die?” Dozens of books like these urge you to see all these places, and if you don’t, well, you got left out because everyone else is taking these fabulous trips. Now do you see how FOMO works?
I suppose the primary culprit of FOMO is social media, what one person has called “Facebook-Instagram Envy.” You see those great photos people share—their new home, their new car, a delicious meal, a cute moment with the grandkids. The cumulative effect of these images makes you feel your “just normal” life must be drab by comparison. You are left with the impression that you have missed out.
So what’s the cure for FOMO? May I be bold and share with you that Christmas neutralizes, and prevents, FOMO. I’m not talking about Santa, presents, and Christmas parties, but the true meaning of Christmas—that God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. Theologians call this truth the incarnation, meaning “in flesh.”
How is Christmas the antidote for FOMO?
God Has Given You the Best Gift You Will Ever Have
That gift began with the arrival of the baby Jesus who was laid in a manger. (Read the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-20 in the Bible.)
Think back on all the Christmases you have celebrated. What’s the best gift you ever received? A new coat? A tablet computer? Perhaps an automobile? A super-generous gift card? None of that compares with the gift of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus.
Here’s why. Only Jesus can deliver and save you from your biggest problem—your personal sins. I know it’s not popular to talk about sin, and so many people honestly believe they don’t have any sin. But here’s the straight talk. Your sin violates God’s holy standards revealed in the pages of Scripture. Your sin also separates you from a close and meaningful personal relationship from God. God is holy and perfect, thus, He can’t mingle with our sin.
Jesus did not stay a baby. He grew up, lived a perfect and sinless life, then willingly died on a Roman cross to provide your forgiveness. On that cross, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin that you deserved. He did this because He loves you deeply. What a gift!
And because Jesus is God’s gift, you can’t earn Him or work your way into His approval. He already loves you unconditionally. God only asks that you express sorrow for your sins, and receive Jesus into your life by faith.
So you see, if Jesus is in your life, then you haven’t missed anything that really matters. You have been given the greatest gift of all—forgiveness. You can have the greatest experience of all—personal salvation. You can have greatest relationship of all—a loving and vital relationship with God.
So the next time the anxiety of FOMO comes over you, just look to Jesus. He is your hope, and the remedy for FOMO.