In today’s secular culture, we are bombarded with ideas and voices telling us what the world thinks we need to do, think, or say. Unfortunately, those voices sometimes extend into the Christian arena. Some of them are easy to recognize as worldly, but others are harder to discern and sound like they might be valid.
One of the easiest ways we fall into listening to these voices, is by comparing ourselves to others on social media. In our Facebook and Instagram feeds, we see snapshots of our sisters’ lives and feel like our own life falls woefully short. Even Sunday morning can look picture perfect: shiny faces, the best outfits. And if you have children, you know that when yours are misbehaving, that’s when everyone else’s kids look like angels.
We have to remember though, that oftentimes we are seeing carefully-curated photos showing us mere glimpses of the cleanest parts of each other’s worlds. If we compare these glimpses to our own lives and listen to the voices that tempt us with some vision of attaining another woman’s perfection, we will feel discouraged. If you’re like me, you might feel guilty and maybe over-achieve to make up for what you think is lacking.
What are you chasing?
This isn’t what Christ has intended for our lives, though. Chasing someone else’s perfection is exhausting and unattainable. Obedience is what He has called us to. We need to follow Him, listening to His voice. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 ESV)
We’re called to chase after the perfection of Christ, to see His vision for our lives in the big picture, the Kingdom picture. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33 ESV) That Kingdom picture is so much bigger and more glorious than the tiny hints we see in each other’s lives on social media.
It is a good thing to see Godly, mature women and want to be like them, to seek out their teaching and counsel, and be mentored by them. (Titus 2:3-5) Still, we need to be careful of putting their example and lives above the Word, or again, comparing where they are in their physical and spiritual lives with where we are. They have walked a longer path than we have, and their lives are going to look very different from ours.
What are you hearing?
Sister, it isn’t wrong to admire our friends’ pictures and these snapshots of their lives, but when we go to social media, we have to guard ourselves. We have to learn how to discern the truth from the lies in the voices we hear. Evaluate what you’re hearing with Scripture. God is faithful, and the Holy Spirit will convict us through His Word.
The enemy wants us to believe lies so we take our eyes off Christ, and fix them on our social media feed, finding our security, satisfaction, and confidence there. He would have us listen to the voices that make us feel guilty about all the ways we aren’t measuring up to our friends. He will tempt us to be prideful about the ways we think we’re better than they are.
We need to be looking at our social media feed using God’s truth and standards, remembering that we are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, as Colossians 3:12 tells us. It continues with the command to put on “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another…”
Putting on something implies that we probably need to take something off, or put something away from us. When it comes to social media, the thing we need to put off is the collective voice of the world, remembering that we are called to set our “minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2 ESV). As believers, when we pick up our phones to scroll social media, we are called to put to death covetousness (v. 5), and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (3:10 ESV).
If we are seeking out the truth to apply it to our lives, we need to dwell on God’s Holy Word so we can discern which voice is the one we need to heed. Filling our minds and hearts with His word will enable us to hear His voice clearly over the voices that inundate us daily.
Gospel hope for your social media feed
God’s grace abounds daily in our lives. We’re not asked to take on the guilt that the world thinks we need to have about all the ways we don’t measure up. We come to the Father through Jesus the Son. He gives us peace and washes our guilt and pride away. Jesus says to us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6 NJKV) His is the voice we listen to.
So go ahead and like the Instagram photos. But ask yourself, who are you going to listen to today? What voices are you going to say ‘no’ to?
Sister, lift your eyes to Jesus. Go to His word. Hear Him calling out to you. Listen to the voice of Truth.
Rachel Doskey grew up in the Pacific Northwest, married a nerd she met online, and now lives in Virginia with him and their two little boys, ages 6 months old and 2 years old. She enjoys the occasional DIY project, sewing, making muffins for friends, and cookies for her guys. You can connect with Rachel on Instagram.