Monday was National Unfriend Day, which encourages Facebook users to slim down their friend list. I didn’t even realize that there was such a thing. As I was listening to the radio on the way into work (or maybe on the way home?), the radio people were talking about the types of friends they thought people should unfriend.
I get that. We all have Facebook friends who post inappropriate things from time to time, and if it’s something that you really don’t want to see, yes, remove association. But these radio folks weren’t saying to unfriend people for inappropriate photos or posts. Not even for polarizing political material. They unfriended people because of posts that made them feel like bad parents.
Okay. I’m not a parent, but I am a writer. And writers are among the most insecure lot you’ll ever encounter in life, mainly because we’re all used to being shot down all the time. But I’m friends with many, many other writers on Facebook, and I find their posts informative. And when they post that they got 5,000 words done for NaNoWriMo, I applaud them. I don’t sit back and feel terrible about myself because I only managed my 700 or so for the daily devotional today.
I don’t have kids, but I do know what it’s like to compare myself to others. And, friends, there’s no freedom in that life. Only chains.
Today’s verses are Romans 9:20-21.
No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?
God made you who you are. He gave you the talents and the dreams that you have. He knew everything about you before your parents even wanted you. Before time began, God knew what you would love, what you would hate, and what would make you feel worthless. That’s why we have verses like these and others all throughout Scripture that say the same thing over and over again: I made you just the way I want you.
It’s easy to compare yourself to other people. Maybe that guy at work is so much smarter. Maybe that girl at school is so much prettier. Maybe that mom at the park has so many creative ideas. Whoever you’re comparing yourself to today, stop.
If you are a Christ-follower, you have one standard, and it’s not the super-crafty, uber-organized, always-put-together soccer mom on your newsfeed. It’s Jesus. You follow Him. You do what He says is right. And you give it your best for Him, whatever your best is.
Maybe one person can juggle six balls. Maybe another can only manage two. Maybe you’re normal and can only manage to carry one without dropping it. If you can only carry one ball, God doesn’t expect you to juggle 10. And quite honestly, if you know someone who’s juggling 10 balls, it’s highly likely that they’re just holding one and letting God juggle the other nine.
If you read Facebook and feel inadequate in the light of other people’s accomplishments, someone is whispering lies in your ear, and it’s not God.
Our enemy loves to use discouragement and insecurity to stop us from doing our best for God. He likes to tell us that our best isn’t enough, that’s we’ll never succeed, because we can’t perform like Suzy Homemaker down the street or John Q. Public in his corner office.
How do you fight him off then? Well, you can unfriend all the people who make you feel insecure, but that won’t solve the problem. Because the problem isn’t with Facebook, and the problem isn’t with the soccer mom. It’s in the way you see yourself.
The way you fight him off is with truth, but it won’t be of much use to you until you accept it.
God loves you. He really does. More than you understand. And He made you. You aren’t an accident. You were lovingly and carefully put together by God’s own hands, and He doesn’t make mistakes. So don’t tell Him He made you wrong. That’s what you do when you compare yourself to someone else.
You have something that woman down the street or that man in the adjoining office can never have–you. You don’t need to be anybody else but you. So stop trying. And stop putting yourself down because you don’t measure up.
Someone else probably feels the same way about you. Have you ever stopped to think why super-crafty, uber-organized, always-put-together soccer mom on your newsfeed feels the need to post about her day? Maybe she’s just as insecure about life as you are.