(i saw this sticker at the grocery store and laughed out loud. it's a play off of the "i am loved" sticker)
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 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 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.