Technology is a blessing and a curse. It’s a tool that has connected people in ways previous generations could only imagine, but it has also preyed on some of humanity’s worst instincts.
America is staring down a worsening mental health crisis with suicide attempts and deaths on the rise among women and men, respectively.
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It’s undeniable social media is an important piece of the puzzle. One recent survey showed one-third of American adults reported feeling depressed, and those who felt lower levels of depression were more likely to report an increase in symptoms if they used social media.
While technology and social media have certainly revealed a cultural illness, they aren’t the root cause.
Shari Rigby, a Christian actor known for her roles in the 2011 film “October Baby” and the just-released Pure Flix movie “Divine Influencer,” recently told CBN’s Faithwire it’s the dismissal of the Greatest Commandment that has led to the erosion in American society.
As recorded in Matthew 22:34-40, the religious leaders of Jesus’ day asked Him to reveal to them the “greatest commandment.” Here’s the ensuing exchange:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (NIV).
“[Social media] is contributing to this crisis we have in our culture,” Rigby explained. “[W]e are really facing an identity crisis; we’re facing a culture crisis. Why would we not, though?”
She continued, “When God says ‘serve Me first and serve others second’ and here we have a world that is all about serving ourselves, why would it not become a crisis in our culture?”
The movie, “Divine Influencer,” starring Lara Silva of “The Chosen,” tells the story of Olivia Golden, a social media influencer who lives in the lap of luxury — until her parents stop footing the bill for everything.
When she hits rock bottom, Olivia is forced to reexamine her life and rearrange her priorities.
“Her influence, we start to see it unravel but then come back together again in a God-honoring way,” Rigby said of Silva’s character. “I think that’s what our culture needs as well. It’s unraveling, we’re watching this crisis and hopefully we’ll start to see the shift change and we’ll start to see people realize, ‘No, I’m completely lost. I need God first and I need to be serving others and it needs to be about other people and not myself.'”
To find out more about “Divine Influencer” or to stream the movie, click here.
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