I was so hesitant to pursue a career, a life, a lifestyle that had God at the center of it. I was worried about what people would say. I worried if my past mistakes would keep people from supporting me. Matthew 10:33 tells us that if we deny God to others, then God will deny us. The evidence that God has done some amazing things in my life can’t be denied. So why should I deny that his work is in me? However, I used to struggle with this. I allowed what others thought of me to shape my identity. There were times where I felt the need to crack a joke to make someone laugh at a moment where I would try to focus on my school work. There were times when I felt I had to be bold and get out of character to prove to someone that I wasn’t afraid or timid. I often would feel like I had to defend myself against bullies and jealous women. My thoughts and emotions were controlled by people.
It got to the point where I needed God to rescue me from this bondage and yes it is a bondage. But life teaches you that people will disrespect you or talk about you no matter how good of a person you may be. Ain’t it funny how social media plays the biggest role in this bondage? I’d like to think of this as the “high school” mentality making its way into the digital space. Everyday it’s a constant identity battle. The pressures of being “perfect” or taking the perfect picture or displaying the perfect career constantly puts unnecessary stress and anxiety on our hearts. 2 Timothy 3:2 it speaks about people becoming in love with themselves. This means that people have become so self centered and affirmed by others opinions that we have become idols to ourselves. God didn’t create us in our uniqueness to become big headed and arrogant towards ourselves. He also didn’t call us to be followers of the world.
We shouldn’t conform to the patterns of this world just because people in high places make it seem okay. We can’t keep going in this same cycle of pleasing people. The only one we should aim to please is God. He is the one who has given us life. He gives us the gifts we brag about on Instagram. He gives us the gifts we so often display on social media. We can’t keep performing our lives in front of an audience that will be here today and gone tomorrow. Nothing is promised but God’s love. Let’s remember this the next time we fish for likes or approval of people.