This post was originally published back in 2015, but I think there were DEFINITELY some areas in which it was imbalanced and not sensitive enough to others and learning to showcase both beauty and reality on social media. I wanted to update it, and I would love to hear the thoughts of those who read.
I’m finding that social media is a double edged sword. For the first couple years of having my Instagram, the temptation to pretend was HUGE. Yet, I was continually encouraged my many of my friends on social media not to compromise who I am, or what I do, for the sake of pretending on social media. It is something that can be used for good or for evil. Sadly, many do use it for evil, and that’s why I want to talk about the ‘pretenses of social media’ that seem to be so prevalent among many of the ‘advertisements’ nowadays.
I have to be continually reminded that pretending is not going to get me anywhere, and even if people believe my ‘pretending’ for a time, God sees right through me, and He knows the motivations of my heart.
Sometimes, my version of being healthy is (For me: Not being anxious or stressed about what I’m eating or about a lack of healthy options) is eating a big fluffy pile of whipped cream on top of a huge smoothie with my beautiful little friend. And I thank God for all the memories made.)
I don’t want to be fake or pretend that I’m perfect or tell you that I always eat salads. I admit that I’m so tempted often to ‘not post’ a picture often just because it’s not ‘good enough’ or it doesn’t show my best side. It’s so easy to stage a photo to make a person look ‘just right.’ It turns the ‘bad’ side of the person away from the camera. It airbrushes, because unlike God, my almighty Father, men look on the outside, not on the heart.
However, at the same time, I do LOVE beautiful pictures. I love beautifully staged photos of food, and pretty photos of people that show their smiles, highlight their features really well, and give glory to God with all the colors and the brilliant composition of the photo.
I know that we can give glory to God even if we don’t look airbrushed, and we can give glory to God with beautiful pictures that we put more work into, but for me, it comes from my motivation. Do I want to pretend? Or do I want to share something authentic, beautiful, or true to who I am in Christ Jesus?
I still struggle with this when I see someone who just looks like they have the ‘perfect body’ or the ‘perfect life’, because I have been so broken for so long. I’m a mess, being daily sanctified by Jesus Christ. I have been saved by Jesus Christ, and because of Him, I can live and breathe and be WHOLE again!
Please don’t get me wrong and think that I’m saying that you should never take good pictures, but your worth is not determined by the quality of the pictures you take. And it’s okay to show the less pretty parts of your life, because it reminds all of us that you are real, that you’re not perfect, and that you’re not ‘there yet.’
My life is not perfect, and it won’t be perfected here on this earth. I can’t present a side of myself to you that isn’t real. I can’t pretend that my life is perfect, that I never cry, never struggle, never sink into despair.
Yet, as a child of Christ, I can’t wallow in my problems either; I don’t want to just wail on social media to all of you, because that’s not helpful or loving to others. My problems are NOT bigger than my God. I have a great God whose love is greater than all my sins. I have a great God who has promised a home with Him in heaven. I am laying up my treasures with Him, in heaven, and every picture I take has to be with that mindset.
Every day is a day of walking to the cross and repenting, of falling down, and thanking God that He has redeemed me, that I don’t have to walk and live in the shadow of ED. ED is a prison, but the love of God is not. It is a delight to walk in His love.
You don’t have to pretend on social media that you’re perfect. This is something that I have to tell myself everyday. Don’t be afraid to show your ‘bedhead’ to everyone. Don’t be afraid to show your messy house. My room is messy sometimes, but that’s not wrong. It’s not wrong to miss a workout to go eat some ice-cream. And you can share that too, because healthy living isn’t stress over whether you are healthy or not.
You don’t have to have a six pack to be ‘worth it.’ You were made in the image of God. You have a soul. You are precious, fearfully and wonderfully made in Him, and that was true before social media ever came about on this earth.
This is who I am, and for that I’m so grateful.
As a child of God, this is my healthy living motto. It comes from Proverbs 3:3-8, ‘Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.’
These verses have been LIFE to me. The opinions of the world drained me. They made me fight for something that wasn’t worth fighting for, but this is worth fighting for, and I’m going to fight for this. On the days that I want to be ‘depressed’ about an ‘unfollow’ on my Instagram account, I want to turn back to Jesus and say, ‘You alone, Lord I need. You alone are my all in all. Because you first loved me, I can love you and I can love others.’
It’s worth it to be a child of God on this earth. I have peace in that. I won’t ever find peace in people thinking that ‘my life is perfect’, because I’m defined by Jesus, by my Heavenly Daddy, and that is the best security in the world!
How do you not pretend but also provide good content to help others on social media?
What do you think about the way social media is used? How do you keep the balance?