Every morning I wake up, flip my pillow to the cool side, and check my Instagram feed.
Swipe. Like. Comment. Like. Swipe. Swipe. Like. Comment.
I lay there, scrolling through endless photographs of friends and strangers living their best life. They are all over the globe–some right down the street while others are half a world away. I watch girls eat the perfect acai bowl in a tropical rain forest, others sip lattes in a minimalist coffee shop. It’s a beautiful community that connects you to so many creative and like-minded people. It has so many benefits, but I’ve noticed it becoming so much more to me, and not in a positive way. Let me explain.
I downloaded Instagram my senior year of high school for the sole purpose of keeping up with my favorite boy band. I know, a boy band? Really? Anyway, it wasn’t long until it became one of my favorite apps and a source for keeping up with friends. However, over time I noticed a change in myself. I became obsessed with my feed, my appearance, and how others viewed me. Every moment of my day needed to be “Instagram-worthy.” Every weekend “picture perfect.” I began to compare myself to others and measure my worth by how good I was at documenting my life. I began to feel depressed and weighed down, but of course, I never showed it. After talking with a few close friends, I came to find that this wasn’t just how I felt, but how many other people were feeling as well.
The Bible is always constant so I began to flip through its pages, searching for an answer. Two verses jumped out at me, unsettling my spirit.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” -Philippians 2:3 NIV
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:14 NIV
It’s so easy for us to fall into the comparison game. In today’s society, we are inadvertently convinced that our worth is tied to our appearance. Believing this lie becomes exhausting and forces us to put on our best face, even when it isn’t genuine. The Lord calls us to “value others above ourselves,” not to devalue ourselves by comparing. When we focus on pleasing people, we become shackled to their opinions. We imprison ourselves! We are made in the image of the Living God and Christ is handing us the key to freedom. He offers a life of total humility, one that doesn’t rely on the approval of man. When we allow Christ to humble our hearts, our whole outlook will change and we gain a confidence that cannot be shaken.
You are beautiful, you are loved, and most importantly, you are a child of the King of Kings. To Jesus Christ, you are more precious than rubies, more valuable than gold. No amount of likes or comments we receive on an app can ever change that. Don’t get me wrong, social media is a wonderful gateway to community and vessel for self-expression! But let’s make that all it is and focus on finding our value in the One who created the universe.
words by Kendall Bolam and photo by Hailey Pierce