I felt surprised at the likes my recent profile picture earned on Facebook. My eyebrows rose when I saw I got 300+ likes on my picture (which is the first time in history). And I thought to myself….Wow! That’s something cool, this many people liked my picture? Hmm…I must be someone important…and I was loving the comments I received from my FB friends that my picture with my kids was cute, beautiful, lovely etc. and here I found myself celebrating, getting happy, feeling a sense of achievement and even a little bit puffed up with pride over the social media applause!
But the picture which I posted wasn’t the only picture I took on Christmas. It was one among 5 similar pictures. This one I chose thinking that it had all the features fit to be my profile picture; all smiling faces, Asher posing well, Jennie isn’t jerking but is a bit calm and awake on my lap and I am looking a perfect & happy mum to them:)
The social media has become more of a performing platform. It has certain criteria to be accepted and applauded. All of us wants to post the best pictures, the best moments, the showing off events, the filtered and edited selfies of ourselves because the more filtered and attractive the picture, the more likes, reactions and acceptance it gets. It has become competitive between friends, spouses, family members and co-workers to see who gets more likes & comments for their pics. Many times impressive pics are uploaded just to make others feel covetous. In fact, not everyone who reacts to your pictures with likes and hearts necessarily mean it. They might even want to frown inside seeing your pictures of parties, promotions or holidays fun!! Do you agree?
We might feel happy to see the growing numbers of thumbs up & heart signs on our pics. But often, however, the reality is covered up with the “put togetherness” of a contrived picture. There is more about our life which is concealed under our perfect pictures on social media.
I wonder if God was to use a FB account, which picture of my life would He actually like or react to?
The picture where I am caring for my kids without complaining, or feeling frustrated about the parenting challenges I have or the picture where I am trying to show I am a perfect & happy mum of two well-cared for kids but just for a minute for that one perfect click?
The picture where my husband & I are posing to show how content and loving couple we are or the picture where we are actually well-bounded in our hearts and love each other despite our flaws & egos?
The picture where we eat dinner at a grand hotel at the beachside or the picture where we also share a meal with a hungry kid at the roadside?
The picture where all the family members are smiling hard just to pose for the perfect family picture of the year or the picture where everyone remains together by choosing forgiveness and love over their misunderstandings and hurts?
The picture which I take with the guests that come to my home, or the picture where I am offering good hospitality to them without feeling upset or burdened over their unexpected arrival?
The picture where I am showing the large amount of work I do daily or the picture where I am doing the work faithfully even when no one watches, notices or appreciates me?
The picture where I stand with a bunch of my friends and have a hash tag #Friends forever# moment or the picture where I am the first one to reach with help when one of them is in need or crisis?
In a world which approves appearance, we often shift our focus from “being” to “appearing”. But God doesn’t see the appearance, He see our hearts, our motives and our inner longings for acceptance. He is pleased with our inside out performance.
As we are nearing the New Year, a new beginning and yet another New Year’s Resolution and plans for our lives, shall we make a resolution to have more pictures of our lives which will be liked by God? In the midst of growing craze of social media gratification, shall we have pictures which aren’t just for gaining applause on social media but genuine pictures & moments of our lives which will gain the approval from God? Pictures where God reacts with a heart emoji and comments
God: Hey! That’s a lovely picture!!
Wishing you a very meaningful & God-centered New Year – 2019