by Vicki Miller
I found myself upset with a friend. It’s rather embarrassing to admit, but it happened. Simply because of her “emoji” response to my comment on her social media post. Sounds silly, huh? It was like any other typical skimming of current posts. However, I found myself looking at all the other comments and her response to them. . .LOVE. Her response to mine. . .LIKE. What?! She didn’t LOVE my response? Immediately, my heart sank, my thoughts began to race, and I found myself wondering what I had done to receive a lesser acknowledgement.
I was comparing my simple comment to all the others. “She doesn’t like me as much.” “My words aren’t as deep or meaningful as the others.” “I’ve done something to offend her.” Really? I’m a big girl! I’m a grandmother for crying out loud. I’ve raised four daughters and walked through bigger drama than this. My reaction was an overreaction. Not directly to her—she never knew how I felt. But to myself. It caught me by surprise! I found myself in major comparison mode, measuring my worth and my value by this one simple emoji—LIKE.
There are so many underlying reasons why this may have happened, but when it came down to where the rubber meets the road, I had to make a choice: Hang my head low because of one meaningless emoji and live in defeat for the rest of my life (sounds pretty grim) or I could search my heart, recognize the source, and surrender it to God. Obviously, I chose the latter. I chose to walk in victory.
Perhaps my experience is not unlike what you have experienced in our ever-increasing use of social media platforms. Maybe you have struggled with feelings of rejection or acceptance. Perhaps you have found yourself comparing your life to other’s “picture-perfect” lives. If so, may I say this? Stop it! Stop it, right now! You are too valuable to God and to the kingdom to go into self-destruct mode. Learn from my mistake and keep yourself free from the disillusions that can happen in the world of virtual conversations. As I have had to do, I invite you to submit any insecurities and feelings of inadequacy to the Lord. He will help you.
Five things I have learned from the LIKES and LOVES:
1) Social media emojis do not determine my value. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 ESV. He uniquely purposed me, and no one can change that.
2) Social media does not give me the full picture of someone’s life, thoughts, or motives. Jesus says this in Matthew, “Judge not that you be not judged.” How often do I take one moment in time to form an opinion about someone? I may not know her circumstances, or what could be going on with her hormones, or the fact that she’s total unaware of how she is presenting herself. Be understanding of that possibility. Give her the benefit of the doubt.
3) Be happy for the positive affirmation of others. It’s not all about me! “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor,” Romans 12:10 ESV. Everyone needs encouragement. Either be a giver of uplifting words or be content that someone else is receiving praise where “praise is due.”
4) Because of this experience, I can more-easily recognize the enemy’s schemes and surrender them to the Lord. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV. Whether it’s my flesh or a divisive scheme of the enemy, I can quickly submit it to the Lord, or rebuke the devourer, and move on.
5) My Heavenly Father made me (and you) and His response is always. . .LOVE. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:4-9 ESV. Praise the Lord! He may have to correct me, along the way, but it’s okay, because He loves me.
My husband, Don, and I have been in ministry, together, for more than 35 years. We have four daughters, four sons-in-law, and four grandsons who keep our lives full of joy and laughter. Having pastored the same congregation for more than 25 years, we now minister in a place where we enjoy serving our district ministers and their spouses. Traveling is a shared interest between us, especially as we connect with various churches and church leaders across our state and around the world. Encouraging ministry wives in their unique role and their walk with Jesus is one of my passions. After serving Jesus most of my life, I am still amazed at the grace and goodness of God and I pray that I never get over it. For fun, I love to read and sleuth décor ideas on Pinterest. I enjoy drinking iced tea (no coffee for me), especially with a friend, and taking car rides in the country.