Humility in an Instagram World

Instagram makes me want to upgrade my life, now. Nicer house? Yes, please. Skinnier body? Yes, please. Minimalistic, #girlboss with cute clothes? Yes, yes, yes please! 

We live in a strange culture and in strange times. The level of self-absorption and superficiality on social media is incredible, and yet we can’t stop looking. We can’t stop taking in this toxic and mesmerizing parade, hoping somehow it will enlighten and motivate us to a better version of ourselves. 

We even see Christian leaders flaunting and building themselves up, and it can all be very confusing. Aren’t we called to be different? I can relate to what the psalmist must have been feeling when he wrote:

“They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 53:3, English Standard Version)

Oh God, please help us. Can we all just collectively admit for a moment how guilty we are here? How prone to the same DEEP pitfalls we are; envy, vanity, selfishness and idolatry? When it comes to our use of social media, most of us are way beyond needing some peppy, encouraging advice about humility. Most of us are in need of deep repentance. To come to God’s feet in complete honesty, and allow our deepest motives to unfold before Him. We need a genuine healing and perspective-shift. We need a new start.

Can I confess something to you? I only spent two measly weeks on Insta before I called it quits. 

I couldn’t hack it. It was weighing me down and I didn’t have a clear grasp on how I wanted to use it. I lacked the strength of purpose that could have helped me rise above the more inconsequential battles I was having: the jealousy of other women, the discouragement of feeling insignificant and behind, and the indignation I felt over the mass-deception taking place in front of my eyes. 

I feel silly admitting this to you. Like a little girl throwing a tantrum because she can’t handle reality. But aren’t we all really just little girls on the inside? Fragile, and desperate for love, attention and our own little brand of stardom?

We have a Father who is waiting to give us all that we need and so much more. As we learn to walk closely with Him, our hearts will be full and satisfied beyond what we knew possible. Maybe we will use Instagram or other social media, but if we do, let it be with God’s real love and purpose pulsing through us so we can see from above. Not in arrogance, but in a true humility that desires to serve and love people; not envy others and elevate ourselves. 

Thank you God, that you have called us to better things.

Hearing Psalm 73 was a powerful turning point for me, so much so that I rewrote it in my own words. If you need to read and pray these words, my hope is that this would be a starting point to lead you into a deeper and more honest connection with Jesus. 

God is good to us who are pure in heart. My feet almost stumbled and slipped because I was envious of those I was seeing on Instagram. I was envious of these people living beautiful-looking lives, with strength and pride in themselves. They are finding real prosperity!

They are not in pain, they are skinny, they seem to have enough money, look healthy and they don't look downcast or in trouble like the people I know in real life. Therefore they are happy in their skin and with their lives and they flaunt it for everyone to see. They sit above us and laugh and clink champagne glasses with their friends, and we all start looking to THEM (not God) for who we want to be like. They don't really believe that God knows best or that he's even listening to and seeing all they are doing. And this is what wicked people get? Great wealth and an easy life? What!? Am I am idiot for having tried to stay pure all these years? For trying to live a Christian life and not flaunt my own wealth or successes? What have I been doing? What a waste! I should have at least been building some sort of credentials or plan for success. But I am home with my small children everyday, living this dreary life, playing maid to my family. And if I tried to do any differently I feel that I would be betraying the calling you have placed on my life. So why them and not me?

When I tried to figure all of this out, it seemed too confusing. Until I went into prayer and you showed me what eternity will look like for the wicked. Sometimes I forget that nobody really gets away with anything, and you ARE watching this all.

The wicked, deceiving people will have their time, be it here on earth, or when their life is finished. They will come to ruin and be destroyed in a moment. You see what is happening and they will have their run in with you. In the brief time that I was trying to be like them, I was turning away from you also. I was brutish and ignorant, and didn't want to look at you. I was angry at you because I thought for all this time you were trying to make me a loser. 

Nevertheless, you gently took my heart and steered it back to you, and now I again am grasping your hand and walking by your side. And YOU will guide me here on Earth, and after I am finished here I will be with you there. What do I really have other than you? Everything on this earth is empty without you, and when my heart stops beating, you will still be with me. I am yours and you are mine forever.

For behold, those who are far away from you will perish. You will do away with all of this evil. But for me, it is good to be near God. I have made him my safety and will spend myself in this life telling people about his great works. 

Scripture taken from: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.