“Our Christian culture tells us that we need to present the most perfect Christian life (achieving those “goals” as a good Christ follower)…but how opposite is that from how God alls his disciples to live or what God says a good Christ-follower looks like?”
This is a nugget of truth from a conversation I had with my younger sister. She is wise beyond her years, with a head full of kinky curls and a smile that can light up a room. Over the past year, we’ve learned to carefully cultivate a relationship that is balanced, no longer trying to make each other’s paths reflect our own.
And this morning, as I’m simultaneously scrolling through my Instagram and digging into Lauren Chandler’s Steadfast Love, her words resonate within my heart. I want the kind of faith that Lauren Chandler writes about: a gritty, raw Christianity that is reflected by utter dependance on Jesus who is rich with steadfast love and mercy. But so often, I find myself peer pressured from the Christian culture that appears on my social media, to publicly edit my faith. Use a filter to cover up the messy parts of the Christian walk, because no one wants to really see your struggles anyways.
In this day and age, it seems like so many young adult Christians want to publicly praise Jesus when life is good, taking the time to edit out the parts that are confusing and sticky. I find myself wanting to do this often: using an over-abundance of the praise hands emoji when something “good” happens in my life, and ceasing to use social media to talk about God when I’m in the midst of a trail. If you looked at my Instagram, it seems like every single aspect of my life is good, all the time. There’s this constant need to proclaim, “I’m a good Christian! No struggles here! God is good all the time.”
And it’s true: God IS good. But what ever happened to proclaiming His glory in the midst of a season of wandering? Why are we so consumed with offering our perfect life on display, via YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, that we forget to be authentic?
Paul, a prominent Biblical figure in the New Testament, practiced raw faith. He boasted in his weaknesses. “If I must talk about myself, I will do it about the things that show how weak I am” 1 Corinthians 11:30.
Why are we so afraid to live life unfiltered? When did Christianity become a platform of pride instead of a humble position of worship?
These thoughts have been weighing on my mind and heart lately, and I want you to know that the Lord sees past your perfectly edited social media page. He sees your heart’s cry. He wants to know you, the real you, without a filter. I need that reminder sometimes, and I thought you might too today.
If you need a place to share your story-your real story, your heart apart from Instagram-please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My heart is heavy for our Millennial generation. It’s time to get back to the root of Biblical community, and start being honest with one another. If you’re feeling stuck in a difficult season, please let me pray for you. If you’re feeling alone, let me walk alongside you.
We don’t have to have it all together, all the time, in order for Jesus to love us. He is already so rich in mercy that he wants to scoop us into his arms and call us beloved. I want to stop hiding the parts of me that might be confusing or messy, and instead live a life that is committed to transparent faith, no matter what. Are you with me?