Your worth is not in the number of “likes” you get today.

I love social media. I think it’s great to connect with friends and share photos, especially with friends who are far away. It’s a neat part of our generation, but it’s also become such a big part of our generation. I’ve noticed in a lot of people around me (and even myself!) that we are at least somewhat driven by the responses we receive from what we post.

I won’t lie, I love seeing people like my Instagram photos or my blog’s Facebook page! When I get a bunch of notifications in a row, I usually go check out my post to see my total number of likes after all the new ones came in. And then, when the number isn’t as high as I thought it would be.. I feel that slight (but still there if I’m really honest) disappointment. And then I think, really, Lauren, why does that bother you?!

worth and social media

I don’t get super caught up in that feeling of disappointment, but the fact that it’s even there at all bothers me. The fact I feel that way when the numbers aren’t high enough tells me I’m searching for my worth in the approval of others. And here’s the truth: my worth isn’t in how many likes I get on my lastest Instagram photo or the number of comments on my blog post. Nope. If it was, I would spend my whole life chasing the fleeting joy that comes from people approving of me and what they see of my life through social media. I would spend my whole life riding the ups and downs of that popularity roller coaster, and that sounds exhausting. Not to mention totally unfulfilling.

I was reading in John 5 the other day about how Jesus responds to the Jews who are persecuting him because he calls God his father and heals sick people on the Sabbath. He says a lot of truly pointed things to them, but here’s what struck me:

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes only from God? (v.44)

Whew. That hit me hard. I seek glory from people far too often– in social media, in my work, in my marriage, in how I dress, in basically every area of my life. I seek their approval because I don’t believe that the glory from God and of God is enough to fulfill me.

And that’s a lie.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” {John 4:13-14}

The fulfillment we get from the approval of others is like the water that will just make us thirsty again. It’s doesn’t quench the thirst at its root. But the good news is that Jesus is more than enough. He has given us a new identity in him that is lasting and brings real hope.

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. {1 Peter 1:3-4}

Our hope is in our salvation that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading! This hope doesn’t ride on how you perform or how you have gained approval… because Christ has performed for you and earned God’s favor for you. He is our lasting fulfillment. Our lives our hidden in him.

Today I’m so thankful. Thankful for the ability to connect and share with the people around me. And thankful to share struggles and truths like these. But especially thankful for the freedom that has broken my chains to bondage and enabled me to run this race toward Christ.