Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
- Ephesians 1: 4-5
I remember the first time I jumped on the social media train. It started with a MySpace profile, where I could display all my music interests, add a song to my profile page, and find my favorite bands to follow. I added all my friends from school, checking out their profiles decked with cool backgrounds and music artists I had never heard of. This was the start of my comparison struggle on social media.
Even on Facebook or Instagram, it made me feel better if I had more friends or followers than other people. It mattered that I seemed cooler than everyone, if I took photos in an experimental way, or if I had a lot of friends in my photos, and if I listened to music that no one had heard of before. I wanted to stand out and be unique, but also feel accepted and validated about who I was.
I think social media reinforced my social anxiety. Even as I could create a profile that would make my life seem interesting and exciting with lots of friends, it made it really hard to be transparent about my low moments. I felt like I always had to perform in front of people by acting like I was joyful, smiling, and content with my life, when inside, I was really looking for everyone’s approval and trying to make sure that my reputation was spotless. I didn’t want anyone to know that I wasn’t as perfect as they said I was.
Recently, there was a time on social media when users would post about how their pictures were not an accurate portrayal of their lives. Many of my friends would post candid pictures of themselves with no makeup, messy rooms, and about having a bad day. It was bold and I admired them for it. It is easy to pretend that our lives are perfect when we select the best pictures to post, but it is brave to share the hard moments when life isn’t going as smoothly.
God loves us just the way we are - mess, imperfections, and all. He isn’t calling us to be perfect first before we come to Him, but to be honest about what makes us feel weak and insecure. Once we have put our faith in Jesus, He sees us as perfect in His eyes and His thoughts about us will never change.
The world makes us believe we need its approval but we always have God’s approval as His children. Isaiah 62:3 even says, the Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see - a splendid crown in the hand of God. Let’s live out this truth today!
1. In what ways has social media caused you to compare yourself to others?
2. How can you live differently knowing that God sees you as perfect in His eyes?
Father, thank You for loving me just the way I am. Thank You for choosing me to be Your beloved child, holy and blameless in Your sight. Thank You that Your words of truth and life never change. I want to believe what You have said about me. I want to live for Your praise and not the praises of man. Help me to live a life that honors You.