Happy autumn! Isn’t this weather gorgeous? Before we start, I just wanted to say that we have been kinda quiet here on JY, but we’re still alive and all is well. We just have been very busy. 😉
So. We’ve been asked a few times to do a post on social media… but we also wanted to touch on the topics of comparing and contentment- which can easily be connected with that. We want this post to be encouraging, and we’re not professionals on any of this- but we (Honor and Hadassah) want to share what’s been on our hearts concerning these subjects. 🙂
What makes social media a unique challenge to our contentment as Christian girls?
→ It is hard to see other people’s lives and not want theirs. We can see the ‘perfectness’ of someone’s life reflected by their clothes, their boyfriend, their house, even their makeup. Instagram is an easy one for this. We scroll through photos of happy, smiling faces and often see images of ‘perfection.’
We can easily start looking at our own lives, our mistakes, our flaws… and the downward spiral starts. Should I start wearing makeup like that? She looks so perfect all the time! Should I paint my fireplace white? That blogger’s interior style is so classic and stylish! And mine is so UGH. Ooh! She got a new dog! My dog is not quite so… adorable.
We can easily stray from being happy with ourselves and our lives that Jesus gave us, to constantly COMPARING.
But Who are we supposed to be content with? Where do we find our contentment? And how do we stay content with Jesus and only Jesus?
Why is comparison a bad thing?
So what’s the big deal with comparison? At times, it can seem like a relatively harmless occupation – even something that could inspire us to be better people. Maybe that gorgeous insta star can inspire us to spend more time developing our style, or that cute girl who always posts hairstyles can push us to get more creative with our own hair. It’s a fair point – but there’s a big difference between inspiration and comparison. It’s great to be inspired by people – it can certainly help us in our own lives! But the bad starts to creep in when we cross the line from getting inspired to comparing. What’s the difference? Inspiration is proactive. It asks, “how can I incorporate that into my life?” It’s something we can work on, something we can do. Comparison is passive. It says, “I wish I were her.” It’s measuring yourself by the things you can’t change (your looks, your economic status, your talents, etc) and wishing you’d been made different. And that, my friends, is hugely dangerous!
One of my (Honor) mom’s favorite sayings is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s a really profound truth. Here’s the deal, my friends: unless you happen to be an absolute prodigy, I can guarantee you that there will always be someone, somewhere, more gifted/beautiful/talented/fill in the blank than you are. It’s a fact of life! And it’s not something we can change! So all comparison does is steal our joy and happiness. It doesn’t offer us something productive to do – it paralyzes us in our own insecurities.
→ Comparison is the thief of joy. If you’re not content in your current situation, you won’t be content even if you get what you think you want (that more beautiful dress the Instagram star is wearing, that perfect boyfriend that celebrity on Facebook has, that gorgeous house that blogger you follow just decorated). Jesus is our true contentment.
What are strategies girls can use to practice contentment while on social media?
→ Aim for an equal balance. I (Hadassah) am on Pinterest and Instagram and love them both. Mainly for creativity. There are many creative people out there and I love seeing people use their gifts to His glory! There are also a ton of people who are extremely encouraging in sharing the Word and Jesus to others around them. (Which is why I’m extremely careful in filling my feed with people who lift up instead of bring down!)
BUT, spending time on social media can be addicting. I could easily lose track of the time liking posts, saving pins, and getting lost in other people’s lives. Which is why I give myself limits. I try and aim for no more than 20 minutes on Insta per day, Pinterest just about the same. This is just what works for me- it keeps me accountable and content with my life. Also, whatever time I spend on social media, I try to spend the same studying the Word.
And once I found this balance, it became much easier for me to not compare so much!
I (Honor) am not as connected as Hadassah 😉 , but I have Pinterest and I love browsing through Etsy, though it’s technically not social media. Hey, there’s cool stuff on there, don’t judge! I especially like Pinterest because it’s generally a very positive forum that I can use to get inspiration for decor and style, rather than giving me an inaccurate and joy-stealing picture of other people’s lives. One thing that has helped me with this is remembering that social media hardly ever reflects the full truth about people’s lives. It’s easy to present a front of “I’ve got it all together,” even if your life might not be going well. Don’t be too quick to judge – either positively or negatively – from a post or a picture!
How can I not feel so discontent, insecure, unloved (fill in the blank)… all the time?
→ Study the Word! Regularly! The more we keep our mind on eternal things, the more we are content in everything He has already given us. (And He gave us His life!!)
→ Take a breather. Pray. Why are you feeling discontent? I (Hadassah) sometimes get into this mood of wanting ‘overnight success.’ I sometimes see cute bloggers and see their 1k+ followers, the YouTubers who are celebrating 1m views…and instead of being happy for them, I feel jealous or ugh, just plain discontent with what I have.
When I feel this way, I really have to sit down and pray for Jesus to change my thoughts. He’s given me so much… and I have to remember that quite often!
What does the Bible have to say about these things?
- “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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
-2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 ESV
2. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
-Hebrews 13: 5 ESV
(HE is the source of our contentment. Not our love of money or our possessions, but Jesus Christ!)
3. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
-Matthew 6:25 ESV
What are your thoughts? How do you stay content with what He’s given you?
Honor & Hadassah ❤
photo credit: Savannah