Facebook reminds me a lot of the church.
Facebook has proven to be a wonderful tool to connect me with new and old friends, share encouragement and opportunity, and figuratively speaking, live life together. While Facebook is great at providing a connection with others, the screen that separates us does limit our awareness and perception into each others lives.
The church is a place where we connect as well. It is a place we share and learn ideas, a place we grow, a place where we gather and celebrate. The church is a place where you can find real transformed lives as well as new and old friendships. There are times though, that I feel the same disconnection in the church as I do on Facebook.
Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I often see perfectly well-behaved children, magazine-worthy homes, picture-perfect family vacations, and thriving marriages. It is rare to scroll through and see mountains of dirty laundry, misbehaving children, family vacations gone wrong or an argument between spouses.
It is unfortunate that this same portrayal of perfection often leaks into the church. After all these years, I see people who still try their best to live their lives like they have it all together, only allowing people to see the parts of their lives that illuminate the idea of perfection. It’s both unhealthy and unrealistic.
From the outside looking in, both on Facebook and in the church people appear to be in essence; perfect. And, if you are totally honest, you probably find yourself feeling a little insecure in light of all that…perfection. Right?
“This is one of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.” — Steven Furtick, Crash the Chatterbox
It is up to us—we have to guard our heart. (Proverbs 4:23) Too often we ‘take the bait’ and believe in these illusions of perfection and then fall prey to the shadow of insecurity. Comparison has become a sport— a game to be played with obvious winners and losers. The truth is, no one is perfect so participating in this sport will always leave you feeling defeated and unworthy.
I think a step in the right direction is to first acknowledge that we are all sinners and all fall short (Romans 3:23). Reminding ourselves of this will substantially change our attitude when scrolling past those perfect illusions and instead, propel our hearts toward an attitude of love for others and gratitude for our own blessings.