FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the worry or anxiety a person feels when he thinks he is missing something exciting or important. Put another way, FOMO is the fear that not participating is the wrong choice. Christians may experience this fear, just the same as everyone else; however, believers do not need to be controlled by this fear of missing out.
There should be no FOMO when the activity being missed is sinful. A Christian can take comfort in knowing that choosing not to participate in sin is always the right choice. The Bible says that sin separates people from God (Isaiah 59:2), even warning that those who practice the works of the flesh will not inherit His kingdom (Galatians 5:19–21). Believers should not fear missing out on the possible fun or excitement that sin generates because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The “fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25) may be tempting, but Christians who say “no” to sin are not really missing out. They are new creations in Christ and no longer slaves to sin (2 Corinthians 5:17).
But Christians may still experience FOMO over non-sinful matters. A believer may fear missing out on experiences, opportunities, or joy. This feeling is exacerbated by a social media culture where people constantly post images of their “perfect” lives for the world to see. Such comparison to the lives of others is a thief of contentment and can lead to envy, unnecessary stress, and an attempt to always stay connected with what others are doing.
When Jesus spoke to Peter about his future ministry and death, Peter pointed to John and asked, “Lord, what about him?” (John 21:21). Jesus told Peter, in so many words, not to worry about John’s life, but simply follow Him (John 21:22). Like Peter, we should focus on our personal relationship with Christ and our duty to Him and be content with knowing God’s will for us. Gratitude to God will go a long way toward preventing a fear of missing out. Of course, coveting the blessings of our neighbors is never appropriate (see Exodus 20:17).
The pressure to live life to the fullest and experience everything can cause anxiety, but a Christian does not have to worry; we can cast “all [our] anxieties on him, because he cares” (1 Peter 5:7). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus prescribes a remedy for FOMO. He said to look at nature. The birds of the air and the grass of the field do not work, but God still makes sure they have everything they need, and Christians are much more valuable than birds or grass (Matthew 6:25–32). Therefore, a believer can trust that God will provide (Matthew 6:33). Our trust in God should extend past the basic necessities of life. God is in control, and His sovereignty guides every part of life, including our experiences and opportunities (Romans 8:28). If a Christian does miss out on something, he still has the assurance that God is orchestrating everything.
Believers should trust in God to control each day instead of worrying about what they may miss out on in the future: “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). If a Christian takes life one day at a time, following God and trusting Him to provide exactly what is needed, he can overcome FOMO and serve God with joy.