Are you the type of person who has to know why you’re doing something before you do it? Why do you go to class? To get a good grade. And why do you need a good grade? To graduate! Simple…right?
Do you walk the halls of your dorm or class building thinking how many people like your outfit or do you wait for someone to ask how you did your hair? I honestly think about those things quite a bit. Maybe you think about how many people liked your Instagram post or how you got so drunk last night and just can’t wait to tell your classmates. But… do you ask yourself why? Do you think, “Why do I care what people think of my outfit? Why do I want their compliments? Is bragging about being drunk really something they’re going to be jealous of? Why?” I do. And yet I still don’t have an all-encompassing answer that drowns every one of these self-concerning thoughts.
The line between pride and self-consciousness is quite fine, and often overlapping.
“If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
Real, authentic, everlasting joy doesn’t come from the clothes we wear or the compliments we receive. Momentary happiness may come from alcohol and other substances, or it may even come from a shameful touch. For me, I find my momentary happiness in my physical appearance. I overcome this short-lived and unsatisfying moment by finding my identity in Christ. Romans 15 tells us how God fills us with joy. It is through my Savior that I obtain joy. Because when I (finally) see that He is all that matters, the approval of others suddenly becomes worthless. Let me remind you that this is a daily struggle!
It’s easier than easy to get caught up in social media and how influencers are portraying themselves. We then think we must do the same to become a somebody, not just an anybody. We must post eye-catching photos and have a theme for our Instagram page…but why?
Because who else would I be if I’m not aesthetically pleasing or intensely inspirational on an app. That’s why. Do you think, “The world mustn’t know that I gain my confidence from likes and comments, or that I only drink alcohol because everyone else is”…and suddenly your world is run by these thoughts? Read this: “You are the books you read, the movies you watch, the people you hang out with, and the conversations you engage in. Be careful what you feed your mind with.” Enough of yearning to look like the overly-edited and unrealistic pictures of Instagram! Our minds must be searching for more…
“Do not conform to the patters of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:2
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things…” – Colossians 3:2-5
Feed your soul with the Word of God, the only one who brings us back to life. The only one who grounds us, because our identity is solely in Him.
I encourage you to take a closer look at what you post on social media – alcohol in hand and a fake smile on your face. Who do you want the world to see you as? Who do you want God to see you as? Remember that who you are trying to be doesn’t have to be posted on social sites. We don’t have to pretend to fit in anymore! Open up to the people around you, spend time with God, and find yourself– regardless of what someone has to say about who you are.
Step one is to become aware that we are prone to perishing. Step two is allowing the Savior to repair us. We don’t have to search for the likes, compliments, and even envy from others. We no longer need to feed off of their jealousies or shallow admirations; we have found our fuel in Christ. All we need to do is hunger for it.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14