In the era of social media, it can be difficult sometimes not to get caught up in “image”. I once read somewhere that one of the reasons we find it hard to find happiness today is because we’re too busy comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.
We have to realize that social media, 99% of the time, portrays only the good parts of the people’s lives who post. You rarely see the physically flawed or the emotionally unpleasant parts of who we are because social media allows us to filter everything if we want to. We can CONTOUR our lives to fit an acceptable self-image and HIGHLIGHT our achievements all while CONCEALING our imperfections. Reality becomes only partial because the full truths of who we are as individuals are limited by what we choose to post. And to judge anyone completely by what they post is to judge a book by just the cover because that’s just what social MEDIA is…JUST a COVER. A beautiful cover that could just be a beautiful LIE.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27)
We should never be caught up in making sure we outwardly fit a picture of beauty by society’s standard that we forget that true beauty radiates from within. It has less to do with our appearance/self-image and more to do with our character. That is why it’s wise to judge beauty by the word of God and not by an airbrushed reality of someone else’s social media page. What God really cares about is who we are on the inside. We are already beautiful to Him on the outside because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.
“Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the HEART with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.” -1 Peter 3-4 HCSB
“…For the Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the HEART.” -1 Samuel 16:7 KJV
If what matters to God is our inward man, then it leaves me to wonder why so many of us make the mistake of getting so caught up in social image, especially for social media? I feel as though we have allowed our visions of beauty to be distorted by the media that our focus has become to emulate it for a like or a comment. However, no part of this is beneficial or productive. If we aren’t careful, what ends up happening is we find ourselves thriving off of the approval of others through those likes and comments believing that we must be truly beautiful when all the while we’re rotten inside. We were too busy focused on the wrong kind of attention that we neglected what was most important, how God sees us.
Attention through follows, likes and comments only gives a false sense of validation. It never lasts because we need to constantly post the beautiful parts of ourselves and keep checking for those likes to get that same feeling of worth. Only a relationship with God truly validates us. We’re still worth it even with Him seeing and knowing the ugly parts of who we are. We need to redirect our focus to making sure we are pleasing and beautiful in His sight. Only then will we truly be beautiful.
– Safa Grey