Have you ever looked at social media and felt like everyone else’s marriage was more romantic, their style more hip, and their house more beautifully decorated than yours?
The comparison struggle. is. so. real.
I’m thankful that my pastor and friend, Steven Furtick, agrees. And he’s here with us on the blog today with some practical tips on how to start seeing beyond the traps social media can lure us into.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
What – or who – is your standard of comparison? Often, we are insecure because of unrealistic images against which we judge our spirituality and success.
I call it The Pinterest Perspective.
PCMag defines Pinterest as: A socially oriented photo-sharing site in the form of an online pinboard.
I have a slightly different definition:
Pinterest is a visually driven social media platform strategically designed for nonstop, twenty-four-hours-a- day, seven-days-a-week reminders that your kids are not as well dressed as your neighbors‘ kids, that your home is decorated in the most amateur fashion imaginable, that the pictures you take are bland and artless, that you did a terrible job planning your wedding, and that you live a generally tedious, monotonous existence—unlike everyone else, whose lives are categorically awesome at all times.
Yes, I have a bit of a problem with Pinterest.
Of course, I’m not against social media in general or even Pinterest in particular. Social media is just a tool. And the results it generates reflect the intention of the user. That’s where the trouble starts.
See, any time you’re considering your real life accomplishments or problems from a Pinterest perspective, you are judging yourself against an illusion. When we compare our underwhelming reality to other people’s staged, cropped, filtered photos, we jump to the wrong conclusions. Because we started with the wrong context.
The problem with Pinterest is the problem within us. It‘s the perfect platform for our tendency to pretend, to pose, and to perform, all in an effort to bolster a shaky self-esteem.
I want to challenge you today. When you are faced with the temptation to compare yourself to the glories of others, try contemplating the glory of God instead, in the way Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
I know this sounds a little abstract – (really pal, contemplate? Contemplate this laundry basket…)
But it can be really simple. To contemplate simply means to think about. To consider. To dwell on.
And there are practical ways we can compare less, and contemplate more:
• Some of our social media scrolling can be so routine that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But decreasing your time on it might be as easy as moving apps around on your phone. Take the Bible app or First 5 and put it on the first screen in the easiest place to see. Place the social media icons on the last page. This will force you to make the conscious decision to swipe all the way over to your social media accounts, while your Bible apps remain front and center.
• Instead of going on Instagram or Facebook first thing in the morning to see what everybody else is doing and reading their comments on your feed, spend some time in God’s Word. It would be good to do this before you go to sleep as well. Feed yourself something more substantial, and see if you feel stronger.
• Make it a point to write down and say out loud what you’re thankful for several times a week, if not daily. Focusing on what you’ve been blessed with is one of the first steps to getting out of the comparison trap.
God has so much He wants to show you, but maybe you’ve allowed yourself to become blinded by the images and illusions of this world. 2 Corinthians 3 promises a new point of view and a new level of freedom for those who will dare to remove the veil.
We’re giving away a signed copy of Pastor Steven’s new book (Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things. This book is for anyone who’s ever felt like they just didn’t have what it takes to get through another day. It’s an amazing resource that can apply to your life no matter what season you’re in. To be entered to win, post a comment below with how you’ll be shifting your social media perspective this week. Click here to purchase your copy.