I really have lost track of how it happens.
I will get on Instagram and post an inspiring quote or maybe just post a picture of myself because I feel acceptable enough to do so that day. And then I sit there waiting to collect “likes” on a picture.
“I know that they will love this picture”, I think as I try to pass time by scrolling to see what others have posted, “My hair and makeup are on fleek today! Not to mention this is one of my favorite outfits!”
After what feels like an eternity a few likes will come rolling in, maybe one from the guy I have my eyes on, and then it ends….
14 likes total.
Then I sit there thinking, “maybe everyone is just not on instagram right now! I’ll probably get some later!” I gleefully fill my day with distractions and maybe a few devotionals and sit waiting for more to roll in.
Later comes and I’m still sitting at a measly 14 likes. Then I reflect on how I average between 12-27 likes on a picture no matter how good I think it is, and considering I have 646 followers. Why am I not receiving the likes and affirmation that I want?
Then those thoughts become even more damaging as I sit and try to discover why I’m not getting that many likes on my pictures. “Maybe I’m not pretty enough? Maybe it’s those circles under my eyes that I’ve had all of my life? Maybe my hair isn’t good enough? Maybe my face isn’t smooth enough? Maybe these eyebrows that look like they were done by Dennis Rodman ran them off?”
If you thought that was as bad as it gets, it gets worse.
I’ll then go back to the time period of the day I posted my picture. Just scrolling and distracting myself. And I’ll notice that another young lady has posted a picture of herself maybe a minute or two after I did and has somehow managed to get 60-90 maybe even 100 likes on her picture. It happens one time, no big deal. But seemingly it happens all. of. the. time! Not only is she getting all of this attention from other guys and people, but she even collects a “like” from the guy you have your eyes on. It seems like everyone praises her while they pity you. “Oh yeah Daphne is so sweet let me go like her Instagram picture….”
That’s when comparison comes and plays chess with my emotions. And I have let comparison checkmate every time. I have somehow fell for the lie that God has spent more time on someone else’s beauty and put mine in the microwave. I begin meditating on how much better they must be than me because they have the attention I want in order to feel validated. And then to make an already destructive mentality worse, I begin flirting with comparison’s bestfriend named jealousy.
“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:12-14
This scripture has become my prayer here lately. I have come to discover that the sins lurking in my heart that is causing this comparison game and jealousy are: lack of trust in God overall and insecurity/low self esteem issues. I have allowed those issues to control me in how I see myself and others! See the thing is, what we meditate on ultimately controls us. Whether that’s good or bad. When we meditate on God and his word, we not only see ourselves as God sees us, but we allow our lives to be controlled or influenced by God and his word.
But see, I have been meditating on myself, seeking affirmation, and on what people think of me. I’ve been meditating on negativity and things that are temporary such as “instagram likes”. No wonder I’m insecure with such a shaky foundation! Notice how at the end of that Psalm the writer says, “O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” My foundation should be God because HE is the solid rock! I should be secure in Him and see myself and others how he sees us “fearfully and wonderfully made”! HE is our redeemer! What does that mean? Well it means, “a person who brings goodness and honor to something again” according to Webster’s dictionary. So why am I looking to instagram or other people to bring me goodness and honor when God not only does that now, but did that 2000+ years ago on the cross (the ultimate sign of redemption)? Let’s meditate on that scripture! Let’s not be controlled by those thoughts (for me insecurities) that lead to deliberate sins (for me that was jealousy and comparison)! Let’s rest on the security of God our rock and our redeemer!
By Daphne Benford-Smith
Daphne Benford-Smith is a recent graduate from the University of North Texas. A single woman that lives by “If you’re not living for the Lord, I’m not your Ruth so take your Boaz somewhere else!” Avid writer for her blog “Confessions of a Christian Woman” or daphnemariahandjc.blogspot.com as a hobby, educator, and woman that is seeking the Lord with all her heart. Although she’s not perfect in that walk, and has painful or funny stories that she shares with the world through writing as a result.