It is Spring Break here in southern Texas and my Facebook is flooded with friends on fun adventures, taking vacations and lots of pictures of sunny beaches. Happiness exudes in every shot. Kids are perfectly entertained, food looks like it is straight from a five star restaurant, and bodies look trim and fit.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game in today’s world of social media, isn’t it? It’s the same thing that can happen when flipping through a magazine or even watching television. You know exactly what I am talking about; you begin to make sweeping assumptions and comparisons. You find yourself thinking that EVERYONE else is taking a Spring Break vacation. That EVERYONE else skates through life without a care in the world. That EVERYONE else has the picture perfect life, body, relationship, house, kids….you fill in the blank.
We forget that social media is like watching the game highlight reel. It leaves out so much about real life. Beth Moore, in her Bible study the Quest, describes social media as a way for for us to live our lives in exclamation points. Every post, every photo, every “snap” is placed out in a bold, exciting way and arranged perfectly.
John 10:10 reminds us that, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” I truly believe that the thief is doing just that within our social media outlets. The problem isn’t social media; rather, it is how we allow it to invade our thoughts and draw us to unhealthy conclusions and comparisons. And the thief, well he loves it! Because he successfully pulls us into his seductive world of jealousy, envy and lust.
But, God quickly reminds us also in John 10:10, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Here is the thing, comparison steals our joy and pulls us out of a rich and satisfying life. However, our amazing God allows us to shift focus and put things back into perspective. God allows us to enjoy the moments of our friend’s lives, remembering that their lives are abundantly more than the image on social media. He also reminds us that relationships sometimes require more than a “like” or “comment”. That nothing compares to human interaction, a listening ear, a phone call, a much needed hug or a prayer.
And, NOTHING compares to our God, who is the only one who adds richness and satisfaction in abundant measure. Did you hear me? NOTHING conpares to Him!
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)