True confession: I am a jealous person …
… and Facebook feeds that jealousy.
I see your posts:
photos of your awesome vacation (everyone smiling of course)
photos of the delicious, perfectly nutritionally balanced dinner you made from scratch, that all of your smiling, happy children ate
status updates about the cute things your perfect children say
photos of the beautiful, crafty, seasonal decorations you and your children made
photos of your star students and athletes and musicians getting all sorts of accolades
status updates of some outstanding success story
photos of your kitchen renovations turning your home into one worthy of Better Homes & Gardens
photos of your new, beautiful home
photos of you and your bestie’s nights out
I “like” them and comment on them and I love reading your posts and looking at your pictures, truly I do. But sometimes, it leaves me feeling jealous and discontented with my house, vacations, kids, cooking ability, friendships. (Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m posting the same things.)
I heard a quote once that I love. It’s by Pastor Steven Furtick. (I don’t know anything about him or his theology, so I am not endorsing him … I just heard this quote and love it!)
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.
Isn’t that what Facebook is? Everyone else’s highlight reel? Occasionally people post their “behind-the-scenes” on it. But mostly it’s the good stuff that makes it there. And so many of us are left feeling insecure, inadequate, and jealous.
So, does that mean we should stop reading and posting on Facebook? Perhaps. But for me, I realize that the problem is much deeper than that.
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (12:15)
I can easily mourn with those who mourn. I can pray with them. I can cry with them. I’m learning that I don’t have to fix their world, but walk beside them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice? That sounds easy. It should come naturally to celebrate with others. But my problem is that secretly, when you are rejoicing, I’m wishing I were too. Instead of truly being happy for you, I’m wondering why I don’t have whatever you are rejoicing about. I do a much better job rejoicing with someone if they are rejoicing about something I already have!
Facebook is not the problem. My heart is the problem. The fact of the matter is that I should rejoice even if I have nothing … because I have Christ, which is everything!
So I am working on reading your updates and looking at your photos and rejoicing with you without the envy and jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. And learning to rest in the knowledge that if I have nothing but Christ, that is more than enough.
God, forgive me for my jealousy. Help me to rejoice with those who rejoice. Help me to truly find my peace and joy in you and only you.
Pressing on together,