It started out innocently. I logged on each morning to peruse through dozens of posts about your children's accomplishments, your new favorite recipes, and your picture perfect snapshots. I began to wonder how you always got your young daughter to keep the bow in her hair, how no matter how your head was tilted I never saw a double chin, and how you had time to make that delicious dinner between dancing and baseball carpool.
It wasn't long before Facebook and I spent all our time together comparing myself to you. I couldn't log on without feeling like your life was more exciting, your husband was more loving and your children were more popular. I hated the feeling of inadequacy that Facebook brought out in me, but I kept coming back for more.
One day I logged on to find that someone I love was the target of one of those ugly posts that are vague enough to seem innocent. You know the ones. The writer omits just enough of the details to feel justified in publicly airing a personal vendetta, but as intended you recognize the context of their comments and know exactly who they are trying to humiliate.
That day I knew Facebook and I were over. It was not Facebook that was the problem; it was me. I expected it to meet needs it was never designed for. I manipulated it to manage my reputation and the reputation of those I loved, and I allowed its volume of friend requests and post likes to measure my self worth.
This evening I went to my first meeting with my new Women's Ministry small group from my church. Our leader asked me if I believe I am who God says I am or if I am letting other things define me.
The Lord and I continued that conversation tonight, and I decided that I still have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I love what an effective tool it can be for connecting with and encouraging others. That's why four months ago I created a community page to share how God is working in my life. But I hate how it lures me into believing my ministry is measured by the number of likes my devotional blog receives.
Lately, I have noticed myself frequently logging on to see how many of you have read my last devotional and how many of you clicked "Like" at the end of your experience. Somewhere I got being obedient in sharing what God lays on my heart confused with being popular for saying things people like to read.
I am drawing some boundaries again for my relationship with Facebook. I will still share my devotional posts on my page because it is the most culturally effective way to communicate. However, for now you will not find a little like button at the end of my devotionals. I want to concentrate on seeing myself as God sees me.
I am not the number of Facebook likes at the end of this blog post. I am who God says I am - loved, beautiful, chosen and free.
Promise for today:
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6