Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Heart Motive


I read this post several months ago and its been rolling around in my head since.  Back in 2008 when I started this blog, its intent was to keep a journal, complete with pictures and to keep out-of-state family updated on our growing-daily small children (jsut two back then!).  
It has since evolved to also be a place where I enjoy sharing the things on my heart and WAY more pictures than back then.  :)  When I read the following post, it gave me pause and I really searched my heart about what and how I share.  
We are, of course, aware of the dangers of social media....And even though we are not filling our feeds with inappropriate content, rough language or suggestive pictures, we may not be modest in our use of social media.
Tim Challies and R. W. Glenn write, “Modest speech is speech that draws attention to God rather than attention to ourselves.” (Modest, 983). If this is the mark, we are falling woefully short. Photographs of our children, our immaculately kept and beautifully decorated homes, our food. Status reports and tweets enumerating our children’s accomplishments, our husbands’ good qualities, our errands. Posts about our fabulous vacations, our organizational prowess, the large number of books we’ve read. These are not necessarily sinful in and of themselves; it is our heart motive that makes them so.
I recently had a discussion with several friends regarding this very topic....we...do not often realize the power our posts have to stir up envy, strife and discontent in others who are struggling, particularly with their spouses or their children. We might be wise to take Paul’s words regarding food and apply them to our social media consumption: “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Cor. 8:9, ESV)
Am I praising the Lord that I have the health to chase after three toddlers, or am I simply proud that I am able to do so?
Am I thanking God for the gift of my husband, or am I secretly hoping others will compliment him so that I will feel validated?
Am I honoring God by sharing my child’s grades, or do I just want others to take notice of how smart she is?
Am I offering a true representation of a sinner saved by grace, or have I painted a portrait of a superwoman for all to envy?
I cannot answer these questions for anyone except myself, and neither can you. The answers may surprise us and they may differ depending on the circumstances surrounding us at the time. Yet if we seek to be truly modest in our social media, we will consistently examine our hearts before we click that mouse.
While I think honesty is ALWAYS important, I also am a positive person by nature and spend as little time as possible dwelling on the negative version of things.
For instance, the rose picture I posted yesterday?  
This is what it looks like today.
To me, it goes without saying that along with the good there is also the bad and the ugly.  That for every beautiful rose photo I post (with which you could assume I am a handy gardener...ha!) there is a wilted, frost-touched rose photo that I do not post...actually, I don't even usually take the picture.
I get frustrated with my kids, mad at my husband, my desk is a mess, despite my best efforts.  Our appliances break, I say more than I should, my son eats no meat save for chicken nuggets, I forget appointments.  The list goes ON! 

Fight, kick and pray your way to contentment.  Appreciate your story for what it is and understand that social media will never provide you with the whole picture.  You are loved by a great, big God....even if, like me, you will never sew one darn thing off of Pinterest.

3 comments:

The Bug said...

Amen!

LuAnn said...

Love this post - sewing - not for me either.

Meg A. said...

Sooo good, Lis. And very, very true. I value honesty and transparency in the blogs I read...but the issue occurs when we use them as a measuring stick against our own lives. Good reminder to keep that in check!