In a world that values visibility and popularity, it is immensely difficult for me to remember that my worth is in God instead of what others think of me. With so many active social media websites, and people constantly sharing their opinions and beliefs on these sites, it’s hard to keep the mentality of spiritual privacy. As I scroll through these various websites and newsfeeds, reading about all the amazing things my friends are doing and seeing, I feel more and more disheartened about my own life. I begin to feel the pressure to share so I can prove my spiritual worth. To try and numb that feeling of insignificance, I post things that put me in a good light, so people are impressed and give me the attention I crave. In a sickening way, I get more satisfaction and pleasure from the amount of “likes” I receive than knowing that God views me as treasured and beautiful.
But honestly, these bad habits aren’t just limited to the Internet. In my daily conversations, I slip in experiences or activities I think may impress them or make them like me more. It is so hard for me to do something good for someone in secret and then keep it to myself. I have a bad habit of running to my friends and saying, “Look what I just did!” By receiving attention from those deeds, I am more gratified.
Unfortunately, looking to social media for assurance and significance is a dangerous path, more dangerous than I initially thought. Today as I read chapters 3 and 4 of Fasting & Stewardship, a couple of quotes jumped out and smacked me right in the face regarding this topic:
We easily buy into the idea of scarcity, and our souls rebel against getting less than our “fair share” of anything, whether it’s food or attention.
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private” (Matt. 6:16–18 NLT).
What’s bad about solidifying my value in the eyes of my peers is seen in the quote from Jesus in Matthew. When I try to prove to others that I am truly “Christian” by showing the good deeds that I am doing, I’m actually pulling myself farther away from God. By withdrawing from the spotlight and doing good works that only the Lord knows about, I humble myself, remembering who really is behind my goodness.
After doing a good deed, it is so tempting to want to tell someone. But this week, I’m striving to refrain from looking to social media or other people to boost my self-worth. Instead of patting myself on the back whenever I help someone, I’m going to pray and thank God for working through me.
Is there anything you could fast from this week that would help eliminate the distance between you and God? If you feel comfortable, respond below with any musings you have! I’d love to hear your thoughts.