Today, I want to talk to you about “social contagion!”
Beware of social contagion, which is the spread of behaviors, attitudes, and emotions from one person to another through social influence. It can happen through face-to-face interactions, through social media, or even through the news media.
Social contagion can be a powerful and unknown force. It can lead people to do things they would not normally do, and it can even lead to harmful behaviors. For example, social contagion has been linked to the spread of eating disorders, self-harm, emotional distress, criminal activity and even suicide.
It has also led Christians astray, through false gospel words, social bullying and name-calling tactics.
So, what can we do to protect ourselves from social contagion? Here are a few tips:
Be aware of your own thoughts and feelings. When you are around people who are behaving in a way that you do not agree with, it is important to be aware of your own values, thoughts and feelings. Are you starting to think or feel the same way as them? If so, it is important to take a step back, and assess the situation to be absolutely sure you are heading in the direction you choose and not theirs.
Have strong personal values. Having strong personal values will help you to resist the influence of social contagion. If you know what you believe in, it will be harder for others to sway you. Are you a Christian whose faith is strong, or are you trying to make it stronger? Focus on making it stronger before you start listening or agreeing with others.
Surround yourself with positive people. The people you spend time with have a big impact on your behavior. If you surround yourself with positive people, they will help to keep you on track, and let you know when you are drifting into the unknown. Celebrities have their own agenda that might not mesh with yours. Don’t be influenced by celebrities with different values just because of their celebrity status. That can lead you down their path and not yours.
Be critical of the information you consume. In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with information on social media, movies and TV. It is important to be critical of the information you consume, and to be aware of how it is affecting you. Like any sweet treats or drugs, if you consume too much you have a hard time turning back. Be aware and turn back now.
Evaluate what you see, read and hear. This is critical for not getting caught in Satan’s web of lies. Listen to what is said, and understand what is written before it takes hold of it. You wouldn’t grab a rattlesnake, would you? Then why immediately take into your mind something that’s just being said to influence you away from your own personal values?
Many jump on the band wagon, but then quickly find out that’s not where they want to be, but have trouble finding a way to get off.
Be aware of your Christian values. Our Christian values are what make us, “Us.” Our faith keeps us from going to far astray, and yes, we all go astray at times, but always mange to find our way back. Social contagion has a strong hold on society here, and in many other countries, and it can unexpectedly surprise you when you fall into that pit.
However, as Christians, we always have a way out. Christians always have a way out of the social contagion trap, and you have to be aware of the exit.
So, what is the exit? Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible. That is what will help you find your way back, but you have to want to take it before your in too deep.
Pay very special attention to any changes in your scriptural beliefs, and be sure you understand any consequences before you are in too deep.
Social contagion is a real threat, but it is not something that we have to succumb to. By following these tips, we can protect ourselves from its influence.
Social contagion is also a serious issue, but it’s one that we can all learn to manage. By following the tips I mentioned, we can protect ourselves from its influence, and make sure that we are making our own choices, not just blindly following the crowd.
Social Contagionists (my new word) have a big book of tactics, and visual leaders to persuade you to move to their side. But you have a much bigger personal book of tactics called, The Holy Bible, and a much stronger leader in Jesus Christ.
Both are there for you everyday, every hour, minute and second. Take advantage of “Your Personal Strong Book of Tactics and Jesus Christ.”
He will never leave you. But have you left Him because of social contagion?
Come back, and He will be very ready with open arms to receive you.
I hope this sermon has been helpful. Thank you for listening (or reading).
“Glory to god, and to the church that meets in your house.”