Do you ever get caught up scrolling through Facebook, checking out everyone’s posts, seeing how much better their day is compared to yours? Ever wonder why you didn’t choose a life where you didn’t have to work and could stay home with the kids all day? Or, ever wish you stuck by your original career goals and followed the path of becoming a doctor, lawyer, or whatever it was that made you ready to conquer the world? Maybe you think to yourself, “my Lord, that person is so happy every day, all the time! They have such a perfect life. Why can’t I be like that?”
I know I have caught myself doing this on occasion. I have worked full-time, 40+ hours a week since I was 19. While I know for a fact that I did not take an easy path in life, I’ve still always felt a sense of pride in my accomplishments. I love my children and my family, but staying home all day just was not something I wanted to do. I wanted to keep growing in my career, all while being a hands on mama. This balance fed my soul. Life was good!
But, all of a sudden I was hit in the face with social media and a big ol’ can of envy.
I’ve never been jealous or envious, so what’s the deal? Why was I longing to be somebody else? Why was I regretting my choices and second guessing the way I raise my kids? They are well-balanced, smart, and loved. Why am obsessing over the posts of people who are so happy every single day? Why am I wishing to have a bigger, fancier house? Just a few years ago, this little house was my dream because it got us out of a tinier apartment! Why am I wishing for her ability to be thin, or his new job, or their annual vacations? Why does the sight of this person make me feel angry now? Why am I hiding them on Facebook so I don’t have to see their perfect life? Why am I so miserable? Why, why, why!
I realized that I was scrolling and scrolling, admiring all these other people’s highlight reels. That’s all they are, they are highlight reels. All of us go through life. We all go through stuff. Messy stuff at that! However, the first thing we are going to post about are the good things! Obviously! Although we all may rant once and again, for the most part we are using Facebook to brag about the best parts of our days. Why would we share a photos of the kids messing up the house for the 3rd time today? Or the pile of paperwork sitting on your desk, waiting to be attended to? We are only sharing the positive.
So, what’s the balance? Where’s real life? How on earth do we move on from feeling an inch tall?! Should we create a special Facebook reality page with cameras to prove nobody’s life is perfection? No, we shouldn’t because the camera thing is pretty creepy. But, finding reality in a place where there’s virtually no negativity is tricky! I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to quit Facebook. But, all of this envy and jealousy are things we can control. Quitting Facebook is not going to magically erase that hint of longing we feel for a friend’s fancier home. Quitting Facebook isn’t the end all to envy. The answer is within yourself and your ability to look up!
Sometimes we just have to remember that God is going to lead us right where we need to be. This is tough! So, so tough, but it’s true. We are all where we are supposed to be. Instead of asking God, why he seems to be rewarding somebody else instead of you, why not thank Him for giving you everything you have. Why not trust in His ability to know what’s best for you at this time? Maybe there’s a reason you are working all day? Maybe there’s a reason you’re not? It’s all in His plan and once you let go and give all of these destructive feelings of envy to God, you’ll find your contented heart.
Sometimes I do find myself falling into human nature and asking God, why? Why does someone else get something I have longed for or had taken away? But, He always finds a way to remind me there’s a reason. There’s always a reason and with enough prayer and trust, He will come through. He always, always will come through.
So, maybe it is a good idea to step away from scrolling a little bit. However, it could also be a good time to think positive thoughts for the person posting their blessings. Why not say a prayer or two and wish them well, rather than feeling hatred or jealousy? Maybe show some love, rather than hate? At the same time, give a little shout out to God and thank Him for knowing what’s best for your heart.
Don’t trust what you see all day on Facebook. Put your trust in Him and He will show you the way. There’s no status in the world that can compete with that!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” – Galatians 5:22-26
Follow me on Facebook when you do scroll, facebook.com/slowpaceandgrace 🙂