“Why did God make you? The shortest answer is that we were meant to show others a bit of who God is, to share and display the love we’ve experienced with Him. We’re seven billion Instagrams of God.”
I’d say my Instagram feed is a pretty good representation of who I am. It features bright colors, outdoor adventure, and captions about Jesus. That’s me, in a nutshell. Or, I should say, that’s “perfect” me.
Despite my aims at authenticity, my Instagram doesn’t accurately portray me. I confess that I conveniently omit any details about my jealous heart, my mundane hours of writing, my ugly-but-delicious-tasting oatmeal. My feed is filtered to show the Hannah I aspire to be.
We live in a world that validates our fake personas and demeans who we really are. It demeans authenticity. After all, your casual, family dinner photo gets far less likes than your epic, mountaintop selfie. That’s just how it is.
And I realized I’ve internalized that reality; I’ve absorbed the lie that says: “You are more lovable when you are achieving or exploring. You are less valuable when you’re just ‘normal'” Thus, normal is the evil I try to avoid.
So when I saw this quote while reading “Not Yet Married,” by Marshall Segal, I was immediately taken aback. My first thought was one of sheer joy. For my Savior, Creator of the Universe, chooses to attach His reputation to my own! My second thought was: “Oh crap!” Because I realized that the lie of my self-worth has not only suctioned itself to my Instagram feed, it’s also become a part of my real life.
As a recovering perfectionist, the quote showed me that I’ve been slipping for the past few months. I’ve been far too focused on living and displaying the life of a good Christian girl and exciting, active adventurer. Instead of nurturing a godly heart of humility, I’ve been pampering an egotistical spirit, justifying all the ways I make life about me instead of about God.
And the worst part of all? It comes from shame.
There’s a deep insecurity that when the dorky, broken, unfiltered me, comes out: I will be rejected. And maybe you’re nodding your head right now because, yeah, you know that feeling too.
Here’s the thing though: We weren’t created to dig broken cisterns, reflecting a broken world. Friend, we were made to reflect the beautiful glory of the King. We are His images, on His perfectly designed feed. And guess what: It’s much prettier than our novice filtering and color-theme could be.
So take a step back with me and think about it: God created you to reflect Him. Take a moment to meditate on the fact that and that your reflection of Him is infinitely more beautiful, impactful, and satisfying than trying to reflect this world, trying to fake perfection.
We are image bearers. Let us not take that privilege lightly.