My prayer has been for awhile now that our society (this generation) would come to a place where we do not cover our insecurities or pain with filters, lies, pretend photo props, blogs, fake smiles, new outfits, funny jokes, etc.
Life is hard, marriage is hard, parenting is hard, keeping a house clean is hard, working full time is hard, being a student pastor is hard, being a leader is hard, getting older is hard, being a lot of things to a lot of people is hard.
We are human, and life is hard. We are all making it by the grace of God.
As Christians we have to be real. This fake world needs us to be real. When you edit out the bags under your eyes, you’re telling the world you are ashamed of how you look and that it’s okay to make yourself look different in pictures, but it’s not okay to make yourself look different in person. . . . It’s only causing confusion in their minds.
When you post all about your extravagant travels with your spouse, yet your marriage is barely hanging on . . . Causing more confusion.
When you post about yourself speaking/singing, but couldn’t tell us the last time you found an altar and died to Christ on it . . . More confusion.
When you post about your “perfect child” right after you got done cleaning up their food everywhere or getting onto them for something they did . . . Confusion. Confusion.
The Bible tells us: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (I Corinthians 14:33). As disciples of Jesus, we too should not be authors of confusion. And not being real and honest about life is causing confusion.
It’s #mentalhealthawarenessmonth, and the above topic is something that I’ve been burdened about for a couple of years now. Because I’m one of those people who have in the past struggled and been confused by seeing others and their lives through posts. It’s caused me to doubt myself, have jealousy in my heart, and eventually, it’s even lead to depression that I’ve had to work through.
I’ve seen other moms and wondered why I haven’t bounced back like they did or why I can’t get my child to sleep through the night like their perfect child is doing.
I’ve seen many people our age in full-time ministry and wondered why we weren’t there yet; were we doing something wrong? — (all the while knowing we were and are exactly where God wants us).
I have seen people taking trips all over and wondered why it seems like everyone travels the world all the time, but we haven’t had a vacation in a couple of years. I’ve seen girls who have a different outfit on in every picture and thought, How in the world do they afford to have new outfits all the time, and I’m just over here grateful we were able to afford diapers that week???
I’m not writing for sympathy; I’m writing for awareness.
I’m far past the insecurity I’ve described above; God has helped me and given me the confidence and security in Him that I was lacking, and I am so grateful He loved me enough to help me through it! But the Bible tells us not to put a stumbling block in our brothers’ way to cause them to fall, and because of social media, there are lots of new things that can be stumbling blocks that we may not realize.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t share — please share! I love seeing people’s lives, family adventures, children, revivals in their churches, home decorations, etc. All I’m saying is this: Maybe we should start thinking about what our true intentions are with what we share, when we share, how we share, and how much we share. What message are we trying to send? Whose attention are we trying to get? Is this post genuine?
Don’t spread your business, but don’t try to hide it under filters and lies either. You are only hurting yourself and others. Find your altar, give it to God, and stop covering it up: stop causing confusion.
Let’s be who and what God has called us to do: to love others. And if we are going to truly love everyone, we have to consider everyone and how our actions and words impact them.
As that old song says:
“You’re my brother, you’re my sister
So take me by the hand
Together we will work until He comes
There’s no foe that can defeat us
When we’re walking side by side
As long as there is love we will stand”
Brooke Pritt serves alongside her husband, Nathanael, as student pastors at Parkway Church in Madison, Mississippi. She is also a legal assistant and works full time at a law firm in downtown Jackson, MS. Brooke is a boy mom to Everett Grey (her pride and joy), and she loves coffee, reading, and adventures with her little family. Her prayer is that her words encourage and challenge people to show the world authenticity so that they may see the goodness of God in us all.