Modern Day Magazine
Instagram has become our modern day magazine. We even call those who post fashion, ‘Instagram Models.’ We have Christian leaders with personal accounts. We see them preparing for events and get a peek into their lives. We have our friends that we follow as well.
They may all appear to be perfect people: perfect house, perfect family, perfect dinners etc. I personally have a friend that appears to be ‘living the life.’ She and her husband are always off visiting some amazing place or at a gorgeous beach. Their smiling faces and cute outfits- all perfect.
It makes sense that we would judge others by their Instagram if that is where we see them the most. However, Instagram accounts are not the sum total of their lives. We should not judge ourselves by their collection of pictures. We should not judge them, by their Instagram account.
When I see other accounts that look perfect, there is a sense of exclusion. It feels like they have something that I don’t…something that I am supposed to have. As people, we like to be like each other. We like reliability.
When the person on the screen seems different from us, we feel the need to become similar to them. We need to change something about ourselves. Of course, they are the ones that have it right!
This has caused insecurity in me at times. For one, I am prone to introspection. However, I can’t help but look at how beautiful someone’s flat lay of their bible, coffee and journal looks.
I think 'wow, so spiritual. I need to be more spiritual.’ The next picture is of someone on a beach. ‘Well, I guess my life is boring…I am not on a beach.’ Next picture is of someone’s beautifully decorated prayer room. ‘Gosh, I am failing at life!’
You see how photos of others can attack our security? We can scroll for minutes to hours and grow less and less confident as we watch the ‘picture perfect’ lives of others pass our screens.
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11
Those pictures can lead to discontentment. I need to be doing those things. I need to be reading those books. I need to be going to those locations. I need to have a prettier room like them.
Suddenly, what God has provided me is not enough. No, He has given others something that I need. Are we then saying God is not fair? The reality is, they are not perfect and God is fair!
Think about yourself. Do you post pictures of your screaming baby? Well, you might…sometimes those are worth the laugh! But, do you post pictures of yourself crying or fighting (fiery fellowship is what I call it) with someone?
No! Why? Because who wants to put all their dirty business for all of Instagram to see? Who wants to show how imperfect they are, to those who seem perfect?
One time, I wrote a blog post and uploaded a picture to Instagram. The blog post got comments and views. The Instagram post got likes. Later that night, I was reminded of something from my past and had an anxiety attack and cried for 2 hours. Yes, it totally happened! You think I want to put a picture of THAT on my account? No!
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man..." 1 Corinthians 10:13
Truthfully, if we did show all of our mess on our accounts, we would all be encouraged that we are not alone. We need to really get this! We are all weak people in need of grace!
Of course, I am probably not going to start posting pictures of my worst moments (though I am trying to be more authentic). However, this is just a reminder to us. We are not our Instagram accounts, neither are those people.
Remember you have no idea who the real people are behind those accounts. They could be struggling. You do know they are human. You know, by Scripture, they are not perfect. In fact, they are sinful. They are in need of Jesus, like you. They have struggles just like you. That is a fact!
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23
God has all of us in particular seasons. I am just where I am supposed to be, and you are also. You can’t measure yourself against social media accounts. It is not the whole picture.
We shouldn’t find security in anything other than Christ. Also, we shouldn’t focus so much on ourselves in the first place. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. We are all messed up humans that can’t fix ourselves.
We all need to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Each day is to be lived for Him, not those people. We are to strive to be like One Person and to be a light to others, wherever we are.
"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1
The next time you scroll down your feed, you will probably see someone who looks perfect. Remind yourself not to judge that person by their Instagram.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
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