“Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10b
Researchers at Harvard recently did a study on social media and why we are so intoxicated with talking about ourselves. We feel like we have to share EVERYTHING we do to every person on the planet. Do you know what they found? When we do that, there is actually a biological, chemical reaction that happens in our brains. The reward system in our brains is started. It intoxicates us to want to share with everyone what we are doing.
I also recently saw a survey that sited one third of the people on social network admitted that they spend much of their time trying to measure up to the lives lived by others on Facebook, Twitter, and Instgram.
We have two problems here:
1. We want everyone to see that we are living some hyper reality (fantasy world) because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
2. We compare ourselves to these type of people who, if we’re honest about it, are miserable.
My guess is that the root of this problem is sin. I define sin as anything that has a higher importance than God. You see, when God is not our ultimate, we have a heart issue. When we want everyone to see how good “we” look instead of how good God looks, then there’s a problem. When you compare yourself to other people, you are saying to God that what He is doing for you and in you isn’t good enough.
Here’s the problem…we live in a culture where we go on several vacations per year and only come back with silly pictures on our cool smart phone and an enormous amount of credit card debt. Yet, we keep going back for more? We continue to shop for the latest toys, trinkets, and latest fashion trends and since the shelf life on technology and fashion is very limited, we’re headed back in a week or two to try and keep up with the latest trends. And the sad part is, we boast about it on all of these social media sites so the world can see how much we have it together. Really? SPOILER ALERT! You don’t have it together. (But that’s another blog for another day).
Suddenly we are at war – the war of outdoing one another. “You went to the beach?”…well I went to Fiji.” “You got a new car?…well…mine is still considered brand new in dog years.” I’m not saying vacations, toys, fashion, etc…are bad things…I like vacations and toys…But when it becomes our ultimate in life, we have a sin problem.
Here’s my thought: I wonder what would happen if instead of us comparing ourselves with other people who live in these hyper reality worlds on facebook and instead of us trying to outdo each other with worldly things…I wonder what would happen if we changed the name of this war to – The War of Outdoing One Another in Honor.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we start saying things like, “I won 12,000 people to Jesus today…and posting it on socialscam“… but it sure beats seeing how many vacations and toys you’ve purchased. Maybe it will set a fire under the complacent “Christians” who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. (i.e. making disciples…seeking the lost…etc). I am convinced that we should spend more of our energy on “outdoing each other with honor”. “You’re helping a sick person?…well, I’ll help you help 2 sick people…” “You’re spending time with low lifes?…I’ll just have to join you…”
So if we boast-post (I just coined that phrase)…boast-post about Jesus. Boast-post about the cross. Boast-post about the work He’s doing in and through you. Boast-post about what He’s doing around you in your community. Because when we lift Jesus up (boast-post), He said he will draw all people unto Himself. And suddenly, there’s no more fantasizing about being like everyone else because we’ll be drawn to Jesus and we’ll find satisfaction and joy in Him.
Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of this blog series.