Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Like It or Not....

How many times have you posted a status, a tweet or a post on your blog only to have no one respond to it?  How does this make you feel?  Do you allow it to define you?  Do you take it personally?  Doing research for this post I read the following quote by a student at the University of Waterloo regarding Facebook and depression.  

Too much upward social comparison can potentially lead to depression....It makes me feel that either people don't like me, people don't support me or they're not listening to what I have to say"

Last week I found out that I made someone feel that way when I didn't "like" her status on Facebook, but liked someone else's status in a study group I have been involved in.  I was shocked, because in fact this person perceived that I disliked them.  I don't like everything I see on Facebook.  Nor I do I comment on every blog I read and have given up tweeting as I still don't quite get it.  That doesn't mean I dislike someone or their posting.  When this happens to me, do I feel depressed?  A little.  Do I think people "hate" me?  NO!

I think part of the problem is our focus and what we allow to define us.  We were created in God's image and He commands us to worship Him alone.  Too many people worship false idols and allow them to define them.
They worshiped the Lord, but also served their own gods (2 Kings 17:33)

We cannot serve 2 gods.  We cannot worship God and worship social media at the same time.  Many peole are on Facebook/Twitter a lot.  They sit and comment on everyone else's statuses.  They status about every part of their lives.  They be"friend" everyone they know or have known.  What if they put as much effort into their relationship with God and glorifying His kingdom on earth?  What would happen if they turned off the computer and went to the word to find their worth?  When we worship these "gods" we sell ourselves short.  We allow ourselves to be open to Satan's deceit about who we are.  Sally Clarkson in "Dancing With My Father" states "Our heart will not, cannot, be with God if it is focused on seeking happiness apart from Him." (p 54)  If we focus on allowing social media to make us happy, how can God compete.

As believers we are to seek our worth not through the world's view, but through God's view.  We are to seek His glory, not our own.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom (Matthew 6:33 Amp)
 I have to admit that I don't always do this.  I struggle in where I find my own worth - through my relationships or through God.  I have compared myself to the world's standards and often find I fall short.  So how do I seek His Kingdom?  Upon relflection on my own life and through study I have found four ways:

1.  Go to Him 1st in prayer and praise.  Too often when we are troubled or when we are excited we go to others to seek their approval or assistance.  God is right there.  We run past Him.  We don't accept what He is offering because we are told it is too hard and His rules are restrictive.  He is freedom.  He wants to help us when we struggle.  He wants to shout for joy when we find blessings, even in the smallest things.

2.  Study His word and get to know Him.  When you meet someone new, you don't just immediately tell them your life's story (unless you're giving your testimony in a group setting).  You work on that relationship.  You learn about their likes and dislikes.  You learn about where they have been and where they are going.  The same for God and He made it easy.  He gave us a book about it.  We may not know everything about Him as it is too overwhelming for us, but we know what we need to know.  If you aren't in the word daily, why not?

3.  Be content in what you have.  This year my word study is contentment.  I have slowly been giving up things, namely aspirations.  Why?  They are the world's aspirations for me and not God's.  For true joy I believe we need to be content in our lives and where God has placed us for these seasons.  Is that tough? Yes.  It's about humbling ourselves and accepting to trust Him.  It is worthwhile.

4.  RELAX and trust in His plan.  We all want to control things.  We have plans and expectations.  These are ours.  These are not His plans.  We need to come to a place of trust.  When we can do that, we can allow ourselves to be a peace and not stress about what people think about us.  Last Friday, I took the evil twin to the mall for her birthday.  We had a great day and when you go to a store with a toddler and a blind person you better believe you get service. 
However, as we were walking back to the van, we were stalked by another vehicle looking for a parking space.  The mall was not that busy.  The people waited while I loaded the van which took more than 5 minutes.  I stressed out thinking about what they were thinking of me.  Debbie kept saying "Relax.  Who cares.  If they want to wait, make them wait."  She was right.  I was stressing over something I perceived.  Not truth.  RELAX.  BREATHE.

There are a lot of studies going on right now regarding depression and social media.  I think a lot of it is because we are forcing ourselves to be accepted not on God's standards but the worlds standards.  We are letting others define us.  We are not letting God define us.  We need to focus on Him and His kingdom in every aspect of our lives to feel the joy that He promises.  

What are you allowing to define you? 

I am linking up with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood at Finding Heaven.


Katharine said...

Well said, and so true.. We trust in so many things that are so far from what God really has for us!

Lynda said...

It used to worry me when I received fewer comments on my posts. Then I realized when I first started my blog most of my followers came from the fact I was using secular homeschool curriculum.

When I changed curriculum and focus it was disappointing to see my numbers drop. It has taken a few months to accept this, but I'm very thankful God is guiding me now.

I have a whole new group of "friends" who don't leave as many comments. I pray that it's because they are putting Him first and not blogging, just as I am.


Emii said...

oh yes, so true. THANKYOU!

Sherri said...

What an amazingly awesome post!! So true. I often find I am sad when I write post after post and no one comments. However I am giddy as all can be when someone does.
I am loving the way God is using you to speak to me. Thank you!

Jenilee said...

I love your thoughts on this! it is very true that comparison is easy to do in the world of social media. I love your points of how to stay away from comparing yourself to others and focus on God's thoughts!

Jedidja said...

Its true what you write. Thanks,

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I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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