As you scroll through your day, does it feel like everyone else has it all together? Someone always has the best job, cutest kid, or happiest relationship. We're pressured to measure up to other people's social media status updates and left with more #Struggles. A little while ago I blogged about struggling to not compare myself to others on social media and how easy it really is to do. You can find that post here. Ironically enough just a couple weeks later my pastor started a new five week series on #Struggles. The messages were focused and centered around social media, for the most part, and I loved all the messages! They really hit home after just having shared my thoughts on this subject.
These topics were covered over a five week period focusing on finding Christ in a selfie-centered world: Contentment, Intimacy, Compassion and Rest. Week one, contentment exposed discontentment in material and financial, relational and circumstantial.
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
When I thought about how easy it is to compare ourselves to others on social media it is just that easy to forget that you are comparing your life to a “filtered life”. We are comparing everyone’s highlight reel to our behind the scenes reel. I’m trying to remember, easier said than done, people’s lives are portrayed as perfect online and often sometimes sadly within our own relationships/friendships. A very good friend and I were talking recently about the importance of being transparent in relationships. Being transparent with your spouse, friends and family and not always portraying a “perfect” life. Non transparent relationships are the kind that make it dangerous to compare your own life with. But let’s not be hard on ourselves, those people have to have rough times as well. Envy is recreating God’s blessings in someone else’s life and ignoring his blessings in your life.
“...I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation… I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…” Philippians 4:12-13
Week two, Relationships. The two main points I got out of this week were one, through social media we become addicted to immediate affirmation. Posting a good blog post or an insta pic and seeing how many comments or likes we get. Post something great and you may feel better about getting fifty likes where if you post something that is our everyday struggle and we get two comments. This is making it easy for us all to want instant gratification and to filter our lives. The other main part I took away from the message was we have the power to do friendship on our own terms. Social media, as well as texting and other technology makes it so easy to have time for friends when it is just convenient for you. I’m the world’s worst at getting a text, call or email and waiting until I make time to respond. I have been making an effort to try and get back to friends and family quickly showing them they are important enough for me to make time for. Life is busy and it is just so easy to ignore a call and think I’ll call them tonight when the house is clean and laundry is done.
Week three, Authenticity. This was my favorite of the three I saw. I missed the last two weeks due to travel. This message spoke to me in a lot of ways the contentment message did. The more” filtered” our lives become the more difficult it is to be authentic. By nature we tend to hide and filter our lives especially when we sin. In these times it is important to remember that we aren’t going to get approval through social media but through God’s love. Only God can remove our “filters” while we are trying to impress the world with a highly trafficked blog post, the perfect filter on the perfect insta pic of the perfect dinner we made or an overly exaggerated Facebook post on how wonderful your marriage, kids, cousins, grandparents and step-siblings are… we must all be longing for something more. I don’t mean to sound like I think all these perfect posts are fake, because I’m guilty of “perfect” posts. These messages just really helped me see the insight of social media. I’m a lot more aware of what I see and how I post and blog. Recently I struggled whether people thought my life was a certain way because my lack of posting on some areas of my life. I then realized that I would rather people worry and believe what they wanted about me rather than post a “fake look”. I determined if someone is worried about how my life is via what they only see on social media then they aren’t a true friend in my life off the computer so it is ok! Then the very next post I read on Facebook was a girl boasting about this very area of their life I was just describing in my life and it started all over…wonder how they make it so perfect… ongoing cycle.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24
Let me be honest, anyone that follows me I may seem to have it altogether in my life but let’s be real…I’m just trying to make it. #Mystruggles
If you would like to watch any of this series you can find the sermons here at LifeChurch.