I was sitting in Sunday school with my parents a few weeks ago and our preacher started talking about the order of leadership in the church. Of course in some churches, the elders have the most responsibility, then deacons. But it doesn’t matter what order of authority a church chooses to go by, Jesus should always be at the top. Listening to this, I started thinking about my own everyday life. I remember thinking to myself, Ya know, I think I really do put Jesus at the head of my life. I’ve been more involved in church lately and have started focusing more on God. I really started feeling a little proud of my good self. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was fooling myself. Don’t get me wrong, I do try and let Jesus lead my life, but maybe I’m just not quite as good at this as I think I am.
I started thinking about how I post on Instagram. I’ll drop a selfie or picture with my friends and caption it with a bible verse. But in reality, do I actually know this bible verse or the story behind it? Probably not unless it’s a common verse that I’ve studied or we’ve talked about it in church or youth group. Let’s be honest. Most of the time, I open up my phone and Google a verse that I think is sweet and works well with whatever picture I’m sharing, but there’s normally not really a story or heartfeltness behind it.
I’m just doing it to make myself look like a better person.
As much as I hate to say those words, it’s the truth. The very embarrassing, hard-to-admit, truth. I’m using the sweet words of Jesus to make my own self look better. I want people to think that I’m a good person because I use a random verse out of a book in the bible that I’ve barely even heard of. I’m taking his truth and using it as a stepping stool to the top. When the truth is folks, I should be under His feet so he can be lifted up higher. It’s hard to think about these things daily. Trust me, as a 16 year old high school girl, I know the struggles of wanting all the Instagram likes, comments, and followers. All too often I let these things blur my vision of what my actual goals are, and those are to PRAISE, FOLLOW, and LIFT the Lord Almighty. Not using His words so that I can receive the praise.
I’ve always wanted to bring people to church and help lead them to Jesus, but I keep catching myself looking for ways to bring people into my own light. Even as I write these words, I keep asking myself why I’m doing this? Is it just so I can try and gain a small amount of “fame?” Or do I genuinely want this message to reach the hearts of others?
I recently wrote a poem for my English class called “Be About.” It mentions how we use him so we can be put up higher. We use our “random” acts of kindness to get us noticed on Facebook. We post every single detail instead of keeping it to ourselves. In most cases. I’m sure we actually just want to help people, but we become proud of ourselves for doing those things. Matthew 6:3 tells us to keep it secret from our own left hand when we give to the needy. These acts should be glorifying God, not our consciences.
I want the people that read this to realize that the words of the bible are worth so much more than an Instagram caption. Why use the words of you don’t REALLY know what they mean. We have to stop using the words from God’s mouth to make ourselves look better than the Man himself. I’m writing these words directed at myself because no matter how hard I try and recognize when I’m in the wrong, it’s hard to stop wanting all the attention. It’s so easy to fall into the routine of life and social media and not realize that we’re lacking in authenticity of the words we use.
I could be the only guilty one that needs to hear these words. But please, as you go throughout your day, ask yourself who you’re posting or speaking for.
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’”
1 Peter 5:5