I love the beginning of a new year. It’s the chance to turn the page, start over, make changes. At the beginning of this new year and new decade, I had a few goals in mind. One was to drink more water. A lot more actually. It is something so important, yet something I fail miserably at. I can go a couple days and not have anything to drink other than coffee. Terrible. Secondly, I want to memorize more scripture. Many years ago, when I was in youth group, there were a few of us that would meet weekly for a Bible survey course. Part of that program was to memorize one hundred Bible verses. I undoubtedly could recite most them now…but not where they are found. So I want to do more memorizing. It’s not as easy as it was when I was younger! Thirdly, I want to cut way back on the amount of time I spend on social media sites. That’s a challenge. Especially when most of the time I have my phone with me and have the tendency to check it often. Particularly if I am bored or we are stuck in traffic. I am not doing so good with this one yet. Some habits are hard to break. But for my own emotional well being, I really believe I need to be more intentional about cutting back in this area.
This is actually something I have been pondering for quite sometime. Sites like Instagram and Facebook are great for keeping in touch with people. They really are. Especially for Dale and I living so far from our family and loved ones. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for missionaries years ago who left everything to go to a foreign land to do what they felt God called them to. Back before the internet was a thing, and it was expensive and not always possible to call loved ones and snail mail was the only means of connection. They would have felt so cut off from everything and everyone. So as far as staying connected goes, these sites are great! However, there is a dark side. Sometimes seeing all the pictures and updates can be downright depressing. Especially this Christmas seeing all the family Christmas photos and we were not with our family. I struggle at times with anxiety and sometimes I feel like these social media sites only add to my anxiety, loneliness, self esteem, and add to the feeling of somehow just not quite measuring up. Feelings of inadequacy sometimes rise to the surface as I scroll through the filtered photos of perfect filtered lives. Photos of perfect homes, perfect families, perfect vacations and all those healthy, delicious looking meals that never turn out quite like the photo. There are many more things I could add. All these posts of “filtered perfection” can be a real joy robber. Can anyone else relate to any of this?
Earthly possesions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of all anxiety.—The cost of discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
It is so easy to get sucked into the trap of comparison. Our self worth should not be coming from the approval of others. At the end of the day it’s not important how many likes or comments we receive, how many followers we have, or how we stack up against everyone else. We are aways going to come up empty. It’s such a lie from the pit. God loves us more than we could possibly ever imagine. We are valued by Him. The Bible tells us we are made in His image. (Gen 1.27) We are remarkably and wonderously made.(Psalm 139:14) We are worth more than sparrows. ( Matthew 10:13) The hairs on our head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30) He will not forget us.Our names are engraved on the palms of his hands. (Isaiah 49:15,16)
Galations 1:10 I’m obviously not trying to flatter you or water down my message to be popular with men, but my supreme passion is to please God. For if all I attempt to do is please people, I would not be a true servant of the Messiah.
Comparison is the thief of joy because it tends to highlight others best moments while reminding you of your worst. —-Grace Valentine..
Phil 4:11-13 NLT Not that I was ever in need , for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation , whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do all things Christ, who gives me strength.
Romans 12:2 TPT Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed but the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satsifying and perfect in His eyes.
Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.—Judy Garland.
In attempt to scale back in this area I am trying not to pick up my phone so often or better yet leave it at home when we go out. If I don’t have it charging on my nightstand I will be less inclined to pick it up in the middle of the night when I can sleep. Less scrolling leads to less comparison and more opportunity to truly be present. I have a couple friends who are giving up social media for an entire year. Can you just imagine how many hours of their life they will be taking back?
What about you? Are there any changes you have made this year or want to make in this area?