Seeking Social Media Acceptance
Social media acceptance is a driving force in many people’s daily lives. There’s a need for approval. And with the internet, we can reach far and wide in search of it. For business owners, it’s important to be noticed in order to be successful. For individuals, acceptance has a value that goes deeper than money. Ultimately, we spend a lot of time and energy seeking it.
I’ve dealt with many inappropriate contacts while broadcasting on LiveMe.
Evil is Lurking
It’s frustrating making connections we hope are purposeful only to discover evil intentions lurking. Be aware. Darkness is intent on infiltrating where possible. As we pursue social media acceptance, we inevitably become targets. Satan uses others to reach us, attempting to bring us down. He uses our need for attention to hurt us or make us afraid. Hidden within a cyberworld, attacks, demeaning behavior, and violations of our moral space are rampant. Rather than joyfully growing in community as we intend, we become victimized.
So what do we do when darkness encroaches? I was recently sent a great article on steps we can take to be safer on the internet. Here’s the link: https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/the-empowering-internet-safety-guide-for-women/. Of course, The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women can be helpful to men as well.
Know That You’re Valuable
Additionally, we need to recognize our worth. If we focus on social media acceptance but fail to realize how valuable we are, we’ll struggle when inappropriately contacted. God created each of us intentionally. He loves us immensely. He sent His Son to die as a ransom for our sin, removing Satan’s hold on us. Knowing that we’re valuable in God’s sight helps us stand strong when darkness tries to intimidate.
Keeping our attention on God allows us to grow personally. We accept and care more for ourselves. Contentment is reflected from this powerful relationship. We become likable to those drawn to us by God. A separation of followers begins to take place that is organic and meaningful. We gain some and we lose some. Our social media acceptance will grow with the right followers for us. And, by seeking God’s wisdom and strength, we’re able to recognize and deal with the approach of evil attention calmly, firmly, and appropriately.
Seeking God’s Direction Gives Perspective
Seek God’s wisdom about questionable new connections. Keep Him at the forefront. Be obedient to His lead. He can see what we can’t and knows what someone’s intentions truly are. Also, He knows when we should offer kindness, even if we feel insulted. We could be the seed God is using to reach someone. Or we could be the one needed to hold them accountable. Only God knows. Ultimately, seeking God’s will can put our desire for social media acceptance in proper perspective.
Find your value in God, be genuine in your social media accounts, don’t let evil contacts disrupt you, and enjoy God-given connections. For additional reading on empowerment, check out my blog, Ladies, You Are Valuable!
I love purple, I thought as I sprayed the next layer of color on what I’d considered “my wall”. After years of expressing moods and coping with circumstances through graffiti, the original stone wall had transformed. It was a tapestry of what life had been for me. Struggling with disappointment yet again, I added to it. This time, however, I sensed something different upon final perusal. It felt heavy to me, my artwork. It seemed overwhelmed by all the changes I’d imposed on it. The art was there, but so was the reason for each stone of my internal wall. Although there were fragments of joy poking through and hints of peace that had lasted for short seasons, the anger, the rebellion, the hurt, and all they meant to me were on display.
My hand, the purple spray can in grip, fell to my side. I stepped back and looked, absorbing the colors and styles, thinking on each event represented. It triggered something in me, provoking tears to flow. They were not tears of anger or hurt though. What was this? Why was it making me emotional? I raised my arm and began spraying in a sweeping motion, trying to push away the uncomfortable sentiment that was threatening. My hand became heavy, and I dropped it to my side once more.
I turned away and moved to enter the house confused by my emotions. Upon reaching the door, I spun around and sat, looking at my wall. Suddenly, I saw something. Within the graffiti of my life, an image was becoming evident. It wasn’t clear, but I swore I could glimpse … Jesus. I blinked unbelieving. I didn’t know Him, but I knew of Him. He was someone who wasn’t there for me during my trials and tragedies. He was the one who I’d heard offered peace but seemed to withhold it from me. I must be bad, I’d figured over time, since He didn’t seem interested in comforting me. Either that or, just as others had, He found joy in punishing me.
Pain is Painted on our Walls
I’d been abused when I was young, been stuck with parents who fought constantly and didn’t care to know that I was being hurt repeatedly. I chose to find comfort in others and by other means. The guilt of that became a heavier burden than the very acts that wounded me. At times I found happiness, even luck on occasion, but most often I felt used and abused. Darkness, as seen in my wall, had been a great part of my life and who I was.
I stared into the eyes of Jesus there on my wall. He stared back, but the look in His eyes wasn’t condemning or wanting of something from me, looks I’d become way too familiar with. His eyes were pulling me in. I felt love. I felt comfortable in my skin. I felt free. The feeling was powerful. I was overwhelmed. Not as my artwork was, more overawed. I felt light, like a weight had lifted. I shook my head and looked again. His image was unmistakable and I was drawn to Him.
“Jesus, why me?” I asked aloud. It was me He wanted. I could tell. The pull was unmistakable. Why me? I was trouble. I was dirty. I was the very definition of unworthy. I was rebellious and discontent. Why me? Suddenly, the view of myself I’d come to resonate with didn’t matter, in fact, it wasn’t even real. In a moment, I was free. The original being God had created was alive, not hindered by the scars I’d clung to and labeled myself with. My internal walls were crumbling.
I looked past the image of Jesus and gazed at all the layers of graffiti I’d created over the years, and it struck me that the original stone wall would look beautiful to see. It would be soothing. However, there wasn’t a fix for the defacing I’d done to it. It’s as if the scars I’d struggled with were just as present on this original artwork that God had made, on me. I went inside and grabbed some other cans of color I had left over and returned to my wall.
After an hour of work I stepped back. The image was no longer hidden amidst the years of trials on display. Jesus was now on top of all of it, covering the graffiti of my life and altering the theme of my wall. His eyes were soft. Love truly flowed through His image, through the tips of His fingers reaching to touch me. The chills which consumed and the tears which cleansed lifted me higher than any drug, drink, or relationship I’d ever hidden in. My wall was no longer necessary. Jesus loves me.
I’m not one for celebrating holidays much to the chagrin of my family, I’m sure. Each day is special to me. God planned me to be here now in time and location and is planning each of my steps, after all. In my heart, every day is valuable, not one more than any other. Yet here we are as a population celebrating the mighty realm of love, Valentine’s Day. Once more, we’re scampering in mind, pocketbook, and action to fulfill the obligated giving of gifts, failing to remember that love is free.
At the risk of sounding negative or anti-commerce I should note that I’m writing this while sitting at a craft fair offering my books for sale to those who are scrambling to fulfill those obligations. In fact, I’ve purchased prettily packaged chocolates from a neighbor vendor to give to my own loved ones. It does feel good to have supported a local library by renting craft space and supporting a local vendor who worked hard making the candies I purchased. The atmosphere on the back side of these craft tables is always one of comradery and support.
Shall I highlight what we are celebrating? Love. True love. Unconditional love. Deep, personal, and satisfying love. Agape love. There is no truer love than that which comes from the Lord. Let me encourage you to experience it throughout your every day, let it flow regardless of life’s circumstances. Don’t bottle it up. Expend it regularly.
God loves you. He loves you so much he took away the sins of your heart and offered you a treasure to give you strength and power to overcome, the Holy Spirit. When we focus on Christ, when we pull tight to Him and spend time and energies fed by this relationship, we grow. We grow in love, we grow in trust, we grow in faith. The deeper this relationship, the deeper we experience His love for us. As His amazing agape love fills and completes us, it soon overflows and is felt by others, whether we’re aware of it or not. It is an unconditional, caring, and compassionate love. A love that does not judge but simply is present.
Has someone wounded you, done the unforgivable, or is otherwise undeserving of your love? Do you struggle with how to offer God’s love in the face of tragedy or abuse? Is it possible to simply love as God has asked? It is and you can!
God has called us to love one another, just as He has loved us. He wouldn’t suggest something that is impossible, but the impossible can only be possible with Him at our center. It can never be done through our own power, efforts, or training. Rather than looking at the impossible and trying to decipher how to accomplish it, look to Christ. I don’t mean in an abstract or intellectual way. I mean really look to Him, talk to Him, focus on Him. Fill yourself with our Lord. Hold continued conversation with Him. When we focus on Him and fill our center with Him, His love, that unconditional, agape love, overflows and spills outward to others, even those we struggle to care for.
The answer to loving one another can only be found in a personal relationship with Christ. By getting to know Him and His qualities, allowing Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit, and growing into a trust that transcends all fear, we are able to love one another…even our enemies. When we can love like that, peace will spread.
Happy Valentine’s to you and may God’s love fill you to overflowing.