I want to start with an article I recently read in the New York Times by Bruce Feiler…
“Walking through an airport news stand, I noticed a novelty. The covers of Inc., Fast Company and Time all had female executives on the covers. I quickly snapped a photo and sent out a tweet to my modest list of followers: “Women on the cover. Not just for girlie magazines anymore.”
Then I waited for the love. I checked the response before passing through security. Nothing. I glanced again while waiting for the plane. Still nothing. I looked again before we took off. Nobody cared. My little attempt to pass a lonely hour in an airport with some friendly interaction had turned into the opposite: a brutal cold shower of social isolation.
A few days later, I mentioned this story to my wife. “What a great tweet!” she said. She then retweeted it to her larger list of followers. Within seconds, it scored. Some Twitter bigwigs picked it up, and soon hundreds of people had passed it along, added their approval. Though I should be above such things, my wisp of loneliness was soon replaced with a gust of self-satisfaction. Look, I started a meme!
We are deep enough into the social-media era to begin to recognise certain patterns among its users. Foremost among them is a mass anxiety of approval seeking and popularity tracking that seems far more suited to a high school prom than a high-functioning society.”
How many of us have felt like this guy? It’s funny, but I have become increasingly more aware of how people look for approval from social media. When we get recognition….a like….a retweet or better still “a follow” from “well knowns” which feature the precious blue twitter tick, there’s a flicker of excitement.
Approval is something our humanity longs for. From children we look for approval from our parents, our peers, our teachers but in this society of social media overload there is a constant cry coming from social media posts saying, “Like Me….Like Me….Like Me!”
It’s so easy to get sucked into “the love” from social media, but we need to make sure it’s not our source for gaining affirmation.
As Christians it’s imperative that we receive our affirmation from God. To be secure in His love and know He approves of us.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:4-8 NIV
You are liked and loved by God.
You don’t need to be reaching for your phone to receive approval from “friends,” reach for the Bible, the Word of God.
His approval is all that matters.