The two friends analyzed the picture, brows furrowed in concentration.
“But do you think it’s Instagram worthy?” asked the taller of the two. Her small, brunette friend grabbed her iPhone and held it close to her eyes, scrutinizing every detail.
“Yeah, for sure. Your hair looks awesome. Plus that app we found to add makeup makes your skin flawless, you will definitely get at least 200 likes.”
Triumphant, the willowy blonde hit share.
The next hour was marred with compulsive glances at her phone.
She bit her lip, she had only gotten 24 likes and it had been up for 45 minutes: an awful like-to-minute ratio.
She turned to her friend, “Should I take it down? I’ve barely even gotten any likes. How many people have already seen it? Do you think people will notice if I take it down at this point?”
Her friend fell silent, a sympathetic look crossing her face.
We have have the need to feel loved, to feel accepted. Deep within our souls, we long for validation.
We want to be liked.
That longing is normal. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel loved or cared about? The rise of social media has made of all highly aware of just of how popular we are among our peers. The number of likes you get on a picture, the number of followers you have on Instagram, or the number of views you get on your snap story has enabled us to quantitatively determine our popularity.
I know I’ve struggled with this.
The scenario I described above is pretty much a conversation I’ve had with my friends countless times. It’s only been over the past year that I’ve realized that the number of likes I get or the number of followers I have does not determine my worth. In fact, it has zero correlation with my worth.
My worth is found in Christ.
Your worth is found in Christ.
He never changes.
He never gives up on you.
Isn’t that truth so much better than finding your value in the hands of the social media landscape? Whose whims change on a daily basis?
We all have that need to be accepted.
The need is rooted deep within us.
It stems for our need for Christ. Our souls long for completion through an intimate relationship with Him. It’s actually not really about the number of likes, views, or followers.
It’s something much, much deeper than that.
What you truly want is to be accepted and loved unconditionally.
To be fully known and fully accepted.
To lay yourself bare, flaws and all, with every facade stripped away, to have every horrible thing you have ever done exposed-and still accepted and embraced.
That is shocking, compelling, and radical love.
That type of love and acceptance can only come from having a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, who loves you regardless of your Instagram following. Whenever I struggle with my identity I always recall 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And that is what we are!
We are children of God.
Just let that sink in for a second.
When you walk around with that kind of power at the forefront of your mind, does it really matter how many people have viewed your Instagram Story?
Jesus Christ died for you.
When you are armed with that truth, who cares if you get 15 likes or 1500?
Social Media can be a really good thing. It’s fun to share exciting things happening in your life with your friends. And it can connect friends from all around the world, building friendships and connections has never been easier.
But it can be a negative thing when it controls what you do or when you compulsively check to phone to monitor the number of likes you receive. I challenge you to examine your relationship with social media. Does it dictate what you do? Do you find yourself tying your identity with who likes your picture? Or how well a post performs?
Instead of being focused on your social media accounts, dig into the word of God, grow into your identity as the daughter of the Most High. Spend time praying and drawing near to Him. He promises, “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Find a good book that challenges and grows you as a Christian. Understand that your worth stems from Him and Him alone.
We’re in this together sister,