(Disclaimer: You might think you know where I’m going with the post and be tempted to click the exit button. Feel very free to do that, but I have a feeling that you probably don’t know exactly where the post is headed.)
So here we go, my fellow believers.
Have you ever subconsciously thought that because you’ve received a ton of likes on a post that the particular moment of your life which that picture captured was just a little bit cooler than you thought?
Have you ever subtly thought that because someone posted a really cool picture of the mountains with wildflowers around them and some beautifully arranged words as the caption that they were just a bit cooler than you once believed?
I’m sure you’ve heard the above before, so let’s dig a bit deeper.
Have you ever thought that because a particular person has traveled to _____ amount of obscure countries that they are cooler than prior to traveling to those countries? (Me! I’m guilty!)
Have you ever thought that because someone sways from the “aesthetics” of social media and leans to the witty, funny sides of things, that they are “more real”
than the main-stream-hipsters (oxymoron, but is it really?) that post coffee pics and mountain mornings on social media?
Have you thought that because someone posted so many pictures of themselves, that they were probably not very cool because they were really into themselves?
Have you ever thought that because someone did or didn’t post pictures of the mission trip you know they went on that it made their approach to the situation more or less valuable?
Have you ever thought that because someone didn’t have many followers and didn’t follow many people, that they were more “real” than someone who had a ton of social media friends?
Have you ever thought that because someone didn’t use social media at all, that they were cooler than those that did?
Have you ever considered that, just maybe in the depths of your heart, you just might on some level equate “coolness” with “value”?
That you and I might believe that these factors, these approaches to social media make someone more or less valuable, depending on your particular idea of what a “good approach” to social media is.
I know that, in a darkened, subconscious corner of my mind, I have.
I don’t want you to be concerned– I do not have an unhealthy relationship with social media. Half of the time, I don’t have it on my phone at all (because #laptoplife), and therefore don’t look at it too often. I’ve never been super obsessed with it, and can always remind myself that real people with real problems exist behind those “ring lights.” I imagine most of us have the same type of relationship with it. Fairly healthy.
But there was a time when I thought that someone was cooler because they were more “instaworthy” in my eyes.
Then my thoughts progressed over time…
and I thought people that didn’t use social media were “better” than those who did.
Then my thoughts progressed again…
and I thought that people who used social media, but had little evidence of activity, were “better” than those who didn’t use it at all or used it too much.
Those people had balance, according to my standards.
And so my thoughts progressed until I asked myself the question, and I came to the realization, that these thoughts all stemmed from the same problem:
Every single one of these things set someone’s value based on how *I* thought they (or myself) related to social media, and not on the intrinsic value *God* put on their being.
If someone is prideful because they don’t use social media, it’s no different than someone who is prideful because they are insta-famous.
If we attribute someone’s cool-factor/value to the way they relate to social media, we are basing their value on the wrong thing in the first place.
So this is the lie we believe: someone is more or less valuable because of the way they relate to social media.
(This could be an expanded theory, saying that how one relates to social media also means how one relates to people/themselves at large, but I’ll let you ponder that for yourself. And also, the way a person relates to social media from your side of the screen might NOT be the way they actually view it from theirs, ya know? I digress though.)
At the end of the day, my value, your value, your neighbor’s value is NOT based on ANYTHING but the dignity and life that God breathed into them.
It’s not based on one’s sexuality, not on their intelligence, not on their music taste, not on how many bands they like that “no one knows,” not on their counts of countries, not on their ability to pick out “notes” in coffee (whatever in the heck those are lol), not on their ability to use a camera well, not on their body, not on their “spiritual vibes.”
It’s based solely and fully on the value that Christ has placed on that person.
And considering the cross… that’s pretty high.
Human value is totally and absolutely separate from all perceived human views of us.
Human value is totally and inseparably bound to God’s image, to our great Origin of being in the first place.
That sweet God and man that hung on the cross and rose again…
He’s our only value.
He’s the only thing that will be the source of any value. In any person. Ever.
Just ponder that. None of the things you think make you unique or cool matter.
None of the things you think make other people unique or cool matter before the cross.
Isn’t it freeing? Isn’t a weight lifted?
That the God of the universe, who’s the only person who matters, His opinion is so separate from social media and perceived notions and countries traveled. That it’s only based on His son.
We are so, so silly, His precious children.
What an invitation we have….
…to lay all our thoughts of others and ourselves at the feet of Him..
who gives us ultimate, intrinsic, never-ceasing value
and embrace others with loving arms and a compassionate spirit
casting aside all preconceived judgements
and holding on to the
infinite value our Father has placed on the
on the other side of a
How will we answer that invitation?