On April 26 I deactivated my Facebook account. Whether it was compulsively checking it for updates or obsessively liking each post so that my “Friends” knew I “approved” of them, I knew I had to get it under control. I was missing being present with my kids, my husband, and/or fully engaged at any event I was at. My kids would come to me and would seek my attention, and I would respond, “In a second honey, I need to finish my comment.” Shoot - I could forget using my phone for the Bible app - it was entirely too simple to slip on over to that blue and white icon and see what my “Friends” were up too. Yes, even in church. Oh. And you can stop reading this with a holier-than-thou attitude, if you have Facebook - I’m willing to bet, you have too.
Why the quotation marks? Because I’ve come to the understanding that 600+ Facebook “Friends” is not anyone’s relational reality. Especially not mine. You see, our relational reality is the 1-3 people we can call in the middle of the night when a crisis comes. Not the 25 who “Liked” a recently posted observation of one’s life.
It has become my fear we are allowing the number of ”Likes” to determine our worth as human beings. Did we post something everyone approved of? And if so, what does that really mean? Is your self esteem being affected by what you post? Does it make you feel good if you garner the 25+ Likes and make you feel bad if only 6 Liked it? Do you check to see who “Liked” it so you can feel good about what you posted? Do you feel bad about what you posted if those you deem “valuable” in this world didn’t “Like” it? And what makes them - or their opinion - on your post valuable anyway? Have you lost “Friends” because you didn’t agree politically or share the same religious affiliation? Were they really your friends? Or were they just there to periodically increase your “Likes” when they happened across your post?
We’ve given other people too much authority over our lives. Too much opportunity to speak into our lives. Granted too many people access to the the deep things of our hearts.
Beth Moore tweeted recently “Guard your heart out there. All are love-worthy. Not all are trustworthy. Authenticity with all. Transparency with most. Intimacy with some.”
She gets it.
Today, I am issuing a call to return to the One who determines our value.
April 26th became a day of liberation for me. If I ever return to Facebook it will be in a form of a Ministry page linked to this blog. A place to simply encourage and bless. Whether people "Like" my posts will hold no value to me. I choose not to be bound any longer to the number of “Likes” or number of comments. I choose to protect my time with my family. I choose not to be swayed by man’s approval, rather I choose to find my approval in God alone. Sister, I want to encourage you to find your value in Him too.
Here are some verses that speak to your value to God this morning...
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4
In the end, may I exhort you as Paul did before me, “But you (insert your name), Timothy, are a man (woman) of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11.
There is no more freeing thing than tuning out the white noise of man’s opinions and onto the life-giving, daily fulfilling, moment by moment encouraging voice of God!!!
Be brave dear one. Do the things that will set you free today! I am here cheering you on - Jayne