Tuesday, March 19, 2013

why social media doesn't make you jealous.

have you ever scrolled through a feed...instagram, facebook, twitter, blogs...and felt pangs of jealousy, irritation, anger. ugh! are you serious that she does that with her kids!
(i saw this sticker at the grocery store and laughed out loud. it's a play off of the "i am loved" sticker)

OR
wait, why is she getting all that attention?
how is she so sweet all the time?
why are thier kids so well-behaved?
why do they get to live in that house?
why can't i decorate like that?
does he/she ever have a difficult time?
why can't i take a good picture?

little voices running through our heads telling us lies about who we should be and who we certainly aren't. humans have the uncanny ability to take something worth celebrating and turn it inward, making it about ourselves.

right? oh, it's just me?

so someone's out having fun, doing something educational or artsy, they take a picture and post and then we say... ugg, how annoying. or why can't i do that? 

and generally our response is to either continue walking in jealousy towards that person, becoming more and more bitter and annoyed, or we simply unfollow/ pull out from social media all together. as if social media caused us to be jealous or angry or irritated. is it bad to take breaks from social media? no! fasting from anything you do regularly is going to be good for you. but it's not the answer to sin. your and my bitterness and jealousy, however large or subtle, is playing itself out in our reaction to looking at a picture or reading someone's blog, twitter, facebook. it's not the picture, it's our hearts.

our sin that's already rolling around in our heart has found an arena to play. so then the answer can not be avoiding all social media. the answer is much deeper.

on sunday one of our pastors talked about the famous "love is" verse. have you ever read the 1st corinthians 13 verse in the bible about what love is... and thought, yes. this is what love is and this is what i should be. i'll start being more patient tomorrow! that's often how i've read it.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

but the letter was actually a spanking of sorts to a people who were not seeing the spiritual gifts God gave them in the proper way.

the letter was talking about gifts and opportunities these corinthians had and how they were distorting them..prioritizing certain ones over the others and being arrogant about the ones they had. when looking through a social media lens, this concept is great for the person taking the picture and the person looking at the picture for 2 reasons:

1) these gifts are from God. you can't take credit for them! quit being arrogant and thinking you're (or they're) so amazing. puffing yourself up is quite unnecessary and actually, when we stop, it frees us to be really honest because we care about who God says we are not what you think of me.
and 2) these gifts are all of the same importance. the ones you think aren't all that great are just as awesome as the ones the others think are amazing. there's no need to be jealous. instead, celebrate that God's being glorified. again, very freeing. i am not made like you, God made me like this. so yay for God that He's getting glory through you!


they only way to stop the jealousy and resentfulness in your heart, is to see yourself and others rightly...that these gifts and opportunities were given by God to people so that He would be glorified. and no one gift is more important that any other gift. they're all gifts and opportunities he gave people so that HE COULD BE KNOWN.

so when someone gets to do this or that, when someone takes an amazing picture, when a mother is using an opportunity to love her children well, when someone is using their talents to redecorate or bake, and a million other things we take pictures of...we can say, praise Jesus that He is the giver of all good gifts and opportunities. praise God that He has made her creative. Praise the God that lives and breathes that He would be glorified out of something as simple as baking. or writing. or photography. or parenting. or clothing. or decorations.

it all becomes about Him, and takes us out of the picture.

so let us repent when we turn someone else's gift and opportunity inward and make it ugly and bitter. we all fall so short. that "love is" list is not a list for us to try and nail everyday. it is a list that shows us the example of a perfect God that exhibits all of that to us every hour of every moment.
and the only way we can exhibit that kind of love is by supernatural power. God has to help us love like that. in real life and in social media.

and we need that in this new way of communication. thankfully, the Gospel is alive and real and cuts through all of it. love coming from God and then extended to others in real life and online.

48 comments:

  1. wow! You nailed this one. I have the same thoughts of jealousy and discontentment when I read some posts. --I wish I coulda wrote this one!!-- But it is seriously a heart issue and no amount of fasting from facebook is gonna change it. Thank you for writing out what I couldn't.

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  2. I probably needed this. been looking at all of my friends who are 23, still somehow don't have to work, and get to take these wonderful spring break vacations that they didn't have to pay for (thanks, mom and dad!) ....Except, I don't know that they're glorifying God in that lol because I don't know their heart or faith sooooo all I know is that social media HAS caused me to be jealous this week. perfecto timing. Gonna work on this.

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  3. I love seeing other's projects and pictures, because I am not a wonderful photographer, and I'm not really that into crafts or dyi. Seeing their stuff inspires me to try somethings, and then to just appreciate the differences of gift in the body of Christ. It makes for a beautiful rainbow to praise our King!

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  4. Beautiful post Jami :) So thankful that I found your blog and can NOT wait to see you in person at Hope Spoken!!

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  5. Great post! I don't think anyone has ever addressed this before!

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  6. This was such a great post. Pretty sure every single person needs to read this one! I'll be sharing it for sure. I've definitely eliminated people from IG or FB who I've felt negative feelings towards, thinking I was making such a wise decision. Ha!
    So thankful for the gifts God has given you and for a new perspective today!

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  7. Thank you so much for this post. I have totally been feeling like this reading a lot of my fb news feed recently. So well written and what a wonderful God we worship!

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  8. Love this post:) You nailed it spot on! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

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  9. BOOM.
    and/or
    WORD.

    this was such a great read, lady. you've got it goin' on (baha) in the hit-me-with-your-best-shot-spiritual-boost department.

    i adore your heart and your honesty!!

    @brealikethecheese ;)

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  10. seriously, every time something's weighing heavy on my heart, i come here and you're talking about it. thank you for being JC's megaphone. what lovely words you always have to get us back in our place. to realize that all of us together are for the glory, not us against each other.

    xoxo

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  11. So blessed (and convicted) by this, Jami. Thank you.

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  12. I loved and so needed this. It's hard sometimes seeing peoe who seem to have this perfect life and all the time in the world to do crafts, or take pictures, or do their hair. especially when I have no free time. Thanks for these beautiful truths. blessings :)

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  13. I'm pretty sure you were inside my heart today and that you wrote this just for me. I am going to tattoo this entire post onto the insides of my eyelids. Good stuff, mama.

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  14. Spoke my mind exactly! I can so relate!

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  15. So right on! Especially in our age of technology and over sharing. We tend to only see a very filtered view of life. I like the reality of imperfections:-) xoxo

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  16. how are there zero comments on this post so far?! ok i'll go first: AMEN and also AMEN. thanks for this!

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  17. amen. really needed this today, jami! thank you for speaking truth, lady. :)

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  18. I love this post, thank you! It's so easy to become jealous after reading about other peoples lives. It's important to remember that we were all made different, by Him, for a reason. I am a new-ish follower and I just want to thank you for all your amazing, heartfelt posts. You really make me think! -jessica

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  20. Whenever I see something in my social media feed that stirs up jealous feelings I try to immediately combat it by saying something kind. A friend has a date night and I don't have one scheduled? I don't say "I'm so jealous!" because that lets the green monster grow. Instead I choose something positive and encouraging to say which knocks it down and replaces it with love. God is using this in my life!

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  21. My heart needed to hear every word of this. Thank you.

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  22. I've followed your blog for awhile, and always enjoy reading it. I really needed this message today- thank you.

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  23. HOW HAS NO ONE COMMENTED ON THIS YET? THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS.

    This is a constant struggle for me. The comparison game.

    A few years ago when I was complaining about still being single, I remember reading an article about how we are called to rejoice with those who rejoice.

    That was such a turning point - realizing how selfish I was in not celebrating others' victories and accomplishments just because I hadn't myself.

    I love knowing that God calls us to celebrate Him in our brothers and sisters. What freedom!

    Thanks for the encouragement, girl.

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  24. DUH, BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO APPROVE THEM FIRST.

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  25. I just shared some similar thoughts to this with the ladies I'm blessed to lead. We must run our own races and encourage others to run theirs. Thanks for continuing to use you prophet gift!

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  26. what a great post. afterwards I thought "how am I using my talents to glorify Christ?" and I got a big fat "sometimes you don't. sometimes you take too much credit or worry about looking cool or ubber talented instead of showing others christ through your abilities" as the answer back in my face. thanks for the reminder. also, I love how you say 1 Corinthians 13 is a list of how God shows us his perfect love. I cant wait to listen to that sermon. I have been to Redeemer before...looks like I may have to re-check it out :)

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  27. Amen!!! Thumbs up.

    Yes. This is good stuff, Jami. (I always want to call you James. I don't though because I kind of get the feeling only Emily calls you James. But I like it.) Good stuff. I'm going to repost this on Facebook. It's so needed, and I believe you really hit each and every nail on the head. I mean GOD ENABLED YOU THROUGH HIS GIFTING to hit every nail on the head. Ha ha!!! Glory to Him! And thank you for sharing the gifts He has given you. For sharing them with us! For shining light in dark places... our hearts.

    :)

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  28. word. this is perfect. it's such a sin for us to glorify others in our minds, when we should be glorifying Him. all the goodness points to Him alone!

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  29. Love this! We all need to be reminded of this on a regular basis. :) beautifully written!

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  30. it's always always about the heart, that is why Jesus wants ours so bad.

    xo

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  31. i want that sticker, in the form of a shirt.

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  32. SUPER convicting and insightful. Thank you!!

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  33. Super convicting and insightful. Thank you!

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  34. WOW! an amazing post ... Exactly what I needed to read right now! I love the freedom and peace that comes from surrendering our hearts to God ...

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  35. Thank you for posting this, it does my heart good to read these words.

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  36. I sooooo needed to hear this! Because just today I got really upset 2x on Instagram: I unfollowed someone because I was "jealous" of her... and I got sad when I saw a group of my friends hanging out without me! You really put things into perspective and I really want to turn my attitude around!

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  37. Thank you for this post. As a woman after God's heart and who desires to live my beliefs out loud and to serve Him big, I have to shamefully confess that these are thoughts that dance through my mind often. Even when you recognize and cognitively understand that God has given us each gifts that we CAN use to glorify Him. There is that sinful, selfish part of us that compares our internet presence with others feeling that another person is more important, influential, or impactful than we are. We are so minimizing what opportunities God has given us to serve Him big in the ways He presents us with..... We are forgetting that we, too, are able to be just as extraordinary and "big" on the net as the next person. Yet, we never wonder about our willingness to work, sacrifice, and position ourselves to do such things. It's not easy. And, growth comes from severe pain. We have to totally focus our lives and thoughts around Christ... when we do that, I totally agree with you, we are able to see less of ourselves, we're less likely to see ourselves as the "main character" in God's amazing story that He so graciously has chosen us to be apart of. Can we start to see ourselves as servants instead of stars?

    I love this post and will begin to follow you on Instagram and like your pictures no matter how many likes you have without thinking "my like won't matter, she has too many anyway!!!" OH, FREEDOM! Thank you, sister!

    Instagram: amayes
    Blog: unashamedgrowth.com

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  38. So glad to read this today. Thanks Jami.

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