We live in such a technologically driven world. One where we thrive on acceptance from people, from receiving likes and hearts from writing the seemingly perfect status; or posting the perfect picture with the perfect filter. But sometimes, we don’t really feel the same way that our post says that we feel. We put on a front for the world to gain fulfillment from our peers, or even people we do not even know. Whether we know someone or not, we just desire to feel that acceptance and love, no matter what we have to do to get it. Sometimes people act out on social media, only to gain attention. In more extreme situations, people bully others only to make them feel powerful over the person they are bullying. W.E.B Dubois perfectly explains this point by saying, “A true and worthy ideal frees and uplifts people; A false ideal imprisons and lowers.” This is huge because when we present honesty about our circumstances, we are actually more likely to receive genuine encouragement and support from people that we would not expect. When we are hateful to others, that will cause us to drive the people who care about us away.
My question is this… Why is our generation so consumed in portraying a perfect life online? Why can’t we accept our imperfections, and allow others to as well? Why do we have such a difficult time allowing people to see our daily battles? I am a firm believer that especially as Christians, if we are to reach others, we need to let them know that we do struggle, but we have a Rock, a Firm Foundation (Jesus) to stand on. We are way more influential on non believers when we are able to relate with where they are, struggles and all. Jesus always meets us where we are, so why can’t we do the same when others are struggling? We should be able to be vulnerable with our flaws and battles, not hiding behind a facade of false perfection. There is no power in faking, but so much power in facing our obstacles, and allowing others to see our scars.
So often, when I am scrolling down my social media feeds, I see a lot of happiness and it seems that everyone is happy 24/7. In the Christian spectrum, we always love to post the Bible Scriptures and the awesome one liners that speak to our “Jesus high”, but why are we so timid about posting about our scars and the wounds that Jesus has healed? Is it because we are ashamed our scars? It is because we have to present this front that we have to be positive all the time? I honestly think it is a culmination of these reasons. We cannot be afraid or timid to share our stories of pain. After all, our stories of pain end in a story of praise and healing. Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” When Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples, He showed them, mainly Thomas, His hands and feet where His scars were. He willingly and lovingly was saying, ‘I did this for you. I went through the pain, so that I can relate to you.” How awesome this is that our example was not afraid to show His scars, so why should we be? When we were created, Jesus had in mind for us to be who created us to be, not for us to be like someone else.
Social media is such a powerful tool to reach the masses of people around the world. We cannot be using it to portray a false perception of Christianity. Instead we should use it to proclaim the truth and the goodness of Jesus, and how evident He is in our daily lives, scars and all. He can show up in the smallest ways, even through a 140 character tweet, or even in a 10 second clip on SnapChat or Instagram story. When we unveil our true self, we can start a story of how we have come from death to life; How we have come from brokenness to healing and hope; How we have a miraculous Healer; Bondage to freedom. We can begin this story and influence others to begin their story by us being vulnerable and unveiling our true selves on social media. If social media is used right, we can be a part of bringing people to Jesus. How amazing would that be!!! Using such a platform to change eternity for people. I challenge all of us, myself included, to use social media as a tool to boast in the power of Jesus, not the false perfection of our faith. Watch the responses you get, and see how this step could impact your ‘followers’.
Love you all,