“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:44.
In the last decade, social media has exploded. We now have the ability to blog, post, tweet and like to our heart’s content. Facebook has 1.23 billion users. Twitter has 319 million. Millions of photos, status updates and videos are posted every hour of the day. It gives people a platform to broadcast their latest accomplishments, vacations, purchases, meals or selfies. But that is not why we post, we are looking for validation. So we go back every few minutes to see how many likes, comments, shares and retweets we have received. We tend to do these things to get the approval of others. But it is important that we consider whose approvals we should actually be seeking.
Instead of seeking the approval of others or trying to impress them, we should be seeking God’s approval. Do we seek God’s approval of what we say and the way we live, or the approval of our friends on social media? It’s very easy for us to care more about the opinions people have of us over the opinion God has of us, or what God knows about us. Are we living for the world’s approval, trying to impress people through social media or our friendships or whatever else we’re doing. Or are we trying to make choices that help us become the person that God created us to be regardless of whether that’s who other people think we should be.
If you are seeking validation, seek it from one person alone: God. Ask Him to show you what He thinks about you. And live your life for His approval, not anyone else’s. After all, everyone else is the same as you: a flawed human being. What difference does it make whether they retweet your tweet. In this world, it’s all about where you stand with people, but with God it’s all about where you stand with Him. We need to live beyond the opinions of others and live for God and at the end you will never regret wasting a second worrying about whether or not you only had 12 likes on your Facebook post.
There is nothing wrong with social media. Social media can be a valuable tool, as long as you seek approval from God and not Facebook. It is understandable that we desire a few accolades. It is our nature. Just don’t forget that the divine accolade—as C. S. Lewis calls it—is coming. And that’s the accolade you were created to hear: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23).
- What are the biggest challenges that you face personally with using social media? In what ways does social media help you connect with others?
- Does social media provide real validation? Why or why not?
- What can we do this week to move our approval from social media to God?