“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.” Psalm 25:21 (NIV)
Social media is a big part of our lives, and can be used in a positive way or negative way. Like many students, it may be hurting you in ways you are not aware of. We are wired to be social beings, and to belong in community. Social media, provides that, but in a virtual way. Instead of creating honest and genuine friendships and connections, we create digital identities, that are neither genuine or honest. They are the products of what we desire to be and not who we really are. The reality is, what ends up happening is not close connections, but competition among competing digital identities. We see friends with better “selfies” and doing better things. This leads to anxiety or fear about self-worth and our value. We can become depressed, thinking, “Look at my lame, mediocre, and boring life.” The truth is, we are all only posting the best moments of our lives and hiding the complete picture of who we really are. I think Jesus would say to us, Don’t look for the depth and satisfaction of genuine relationships in what is only virtual and fake. I believe He would and does encourage us to be people of integrity and uprightness (genuinely us and honest), in our relationship with Him and our relationships with others. He wouldn’t want us to spill all our dirty laundry on everyone we meet, but to simply be real. When we walk transparently before Jesus and recognize that we are valued, loved, and accepted, we will not look to social media or others for that same recognition. We won’t be moved by what they think, because we are cared for by the One who has created us, and died for us. When we walk with Christ in this way, we are protected from the pressures and temptations to measure up, and can walk in freedom. Go to Jesus and His Word to discover your identity and not to your phones. Phones are dead things, Jesus is Alive, and He wants you to live Alive too!