The world provides many options to put our identity into, ranging from clothes to education. When our identity is so wrapped up in these things, it becomes hard to see the problem at hand. A toxic identity crisis is sweeping through our world, affecting both the young and old. It stems from your cell phone and creates mindless scrolling, and idles your mind so you aren’t even realizing what is going on in your head. It is rarely recognized as a root our identity crisis but trust me it is; I know this because I was once a mindless scroller. Social Media.
I post a picture hoping to get as many likes as I can and get others approval, forgetting the only approval I need is from God. I claim that I don’t care what other people think of me, my actions with social media prove otherwise and I become a hypocrite. To be honest, I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but God was aware of the toxic waste seeping into my heart.
Back in August I attended a church event where God clearly spoke to me. Our pastor challenged us to sit in silence and listen for a word that God wanted to lay on our hearts. Not everyone heard a word, some heard a sentence and some nothing at all.
Patience. Alright God, what do you want me to do? Delete your instagram.
I did not know what the problem was with having my instagram but I trusted that God was directing me in the right direction. After the event I deleted my instagram (and went ahead and deleted my snapchat too.) The first few days were rough, I would open my phone to open the app but it wasn’t there. I didn’t realize I was doing it sometimes! I didn’t have it for 2 months and it was such a freeing time. Here is what God taught me:
- I rely on what people think. Whether it was instagram or snapchat, I wanted people to know how fun I am, and that chances are I’m having more fun then them. I know that sounds horrible and I never realized it before. I was so concerned with what others were thinking I did not realize how much it was hurting me. If I made you feel left out or less than I am sincerely sorry.
- I choose to spend time on these social media apps instead of spending valuable time with my Jesus. After deleting these social media apps I had a lot more time on my hands. I had two options, nap or spend time with Jesus, I picked the second one and deepened my relationship with him in a short time and developed good habits from it. This was also where I realized what the Lord was doing when he asked me to delete instagram
- I am constantly comparing myself to others. A big part of my eating disorder was playing the comparison game, I have to be the skinniest and that will make people like me. I got out of the habit of thinking like that during recovery but I slipped right back into it when my guard was down. Praise the Lord he revealed this to me once again. God crafted each of us differently and uniquely. Our Father does not want us to compare ourselves to one another, we should aim to be like Christ not like the girl all the boys like.
- It makes me lust. Instagram (and snapchat) can be very suggestive and is full of lustful temptations. We should not walk side to side with our temptations, we need to flee them. “Be alert. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage, and be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NCV) Alert literally means to be quick to notice any unusual and potentially dangerous or difficult circumstances. Notice thoughts that don’t glorify God as you are scrolling through your feed? You might want to consider the delete button.
When it came to deleting my instagram I knew I was choosing between Jesus and my flesh. A few weeks ago I got my instagram back, and I can already notice the cycle of comparison beginning again. I have decided to choose Jesus over my flesh once again.
My challenge to you is to take a break from social media for as long as you choose. Stay strong and firm and commit to this challenge! Tell a friend what you are doing to help keep you accountable (or if you want to message me to keep you accountable I can!) Be amazed at what the Lord will do in this time of rest from social media, I was!