instagram isn’t my enemy

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Last week, a famous author I follow on Instagram liked my comment.

LIKED MY COMMENT.

I read her books and watch her videos and she’s a New York Times best selling author, and she took the time to read my little sentence and tap a tiny “heart” next to my name.

I took a picture of it, circled it, and sent it to my friends.  And do you know what they all said? “Cool! Who is she?”

And I laughed to myself and remembered that famous people are just people, too.

In all honesty, I think social media often gets blamed for too many of our world’s problems. I certainly call it out as a reason for a lot of my own. We are trapped in a world that links us up to a never-ending slew of overloaded information and hi light reels of other people’s lives. We get sucked in, and we spend our time scrolling on our phones or computers, losing the ability to be present in our own world. So it’s easy to point the finger at a little app on our phone and call it the reason why we’re all unhappy and caught up in comparison.

I won’t generalize this information for you. You may not be as bad as I am at constantly switching back and forth between Facebook and Instagram, refreshing the page until something new comes up – only to find: surprise! You were just here 15 seconds ago and nothing is new.

My biggest personal problem with social media is the silent comparison game I play with myself. In my mind, I’m aware these beautiful photos of other people’s happy kids and clutter-free homes could be reality; or they could just be a really well timed, well cropped, and well filtered picture, like I often do myself. I’d venture to guess you find yourself doing some version of this game in your own mind.

I’m totally aware that this idea of being aware of the dangers of judging or comparing other’s hi light reels to your own backstory isn’t anything new. This is not a post about the importance of showing your real self on the internet.

I’ve started to wonder if maybe social media is getting blamed for a problem that we’ve always had. It just looks different in this generation.

Human beings have always found ways to compare. To judge. To sink into jealousy. To look at someone else’s life and do their best to attempt to measure up. It wasn’t created when social media came about. It’s been happening way before tv or magazines or Snapchat were ever around. It started in the very beginning of the Bible, for crying out loud. I’ve started to wonder if maybe the world, and the people who follow me on Instagram, aren’t actually the ones holding the measuring stick on how awesome and productive and purposeful my life is. At the end of the day, it’s usually me.

Well, more accurately, it’s the enemy of my soul who tricks me into believing that his voice is my own. He cons me into blaming a virtual world with people I’ve never even met with my unhappiness and my need to be enough. He tells me that everyone I know is holding up a never-ending measuring stick that I will never reach the top of. He wants me to feel that I must have my stuff together, just like “she” obviously does. His goal is to turn me against other people, to shut off pieces of the body of Christ and to turn inward, to constantly feel unworthy and not good enough.

God didn’t create us this way. He created us unique, holy, blameless, and already content with everything we would ever need.

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.” 2 Peter 1:3 msg

The funny thing about this verse? God didn’t just give everything you needed to you alone. He also gave it all to the famous author who liked my post. The same God who invites me in wants to personally know that perfect woman at your job; the who makes balancing 50 things look easy and you wonder what on earth you’re doing with your life.

This is a call and a challenge. To stop blaming our lack of self-worth on actresses and models and famous authors on Instagram. To join up with the people who live in your world instead of finding cause for divide: the ones who live across the street, work in the office next to yours, or call the same church “home.”

There is One who has already accepted you, not simply as He found you – but as He intended you to be. He has chosen you. Appointed you. He is One who doesn’t hold any measuring stick at all. Instead, His hands hold holes where He bled for you, for me, and for them.

Before the creation of the world, He knit you together and planned out your purpose, and did so with love.

You have nothing to measure up to you because in the eyes of eternity, we’ve all been given the same amount.

Everything.

I’ll see you on Instagram.

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.” 2 Peter 1:5-9 msg

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