Back when I manned a solo Instagram, before my husband and I created a joint account, I used the same recipe for every post:
- One picture that glitters, remove sunspots and avoid disheveled backdrops
- Two clever captions, pepper with puns
- Three friends, vary the taste testers: “Which filter is better?”
- Four free minutes, ensure there’s considerable rise in the likes
Back when I starred in a solo Instagram, before my husband cautioned its use, I was consumed with myself. Self-aggrandizement was the recipe for every post.
When we post on social media, we cook. We gather ingredients, snapshots of jalapeño-ridden burgers and Narnian quotes. We prepare the pictures and tend the Tweets. Then, we share. People feed. We wait for feedback. The reviews — here they come! Well, what we dish can’t win every time. Next time, next time people will like us — we mean, it — more.
All our posting, much like our cooking, takes time. It requires resources. It exacts effort. I once spent nearly three hours making chicken enchiladas. Add one Tweet to two Facebook statuses to three Instagram posts to four Snapchat stories, and I’m sure you near a couple hours. Posting leads to scrolling, and scrolling leads to more scrolling.
We are spending undeniably large chunks of our lives sharing something with the world. And so we must ask ourselves: Will we wield our media to the glory of God or sacrifice them upon the altar of self?
Two Ways to Post
I hope you use media differently than I did. My posts sought to place myself and my life on a silver platter for others to visually consume and then verbally admire. Sure, I sprinkled God in. God-honoring principles like “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” draped my bio (Philippians 1:21). But, in practice, I paid no mind to God-honoring commands like “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit” (Philippians 2:3). I used God’s word as garnish. I glorified him not.
How might we heap due “glory, majesty, power, and authority” onto God through our posts (Jude 1:25)? We publicly celebrate his goodness in both comfort and tragedy (Philippians 4:11–13). We openly recognize the ways he blesses and uses others for his glory (Romans 12:15).
When our posts serve ourselves to others, we do not serve them at all. Rather, we starve them (and ourselves) in the process. We should test our motivation for posting, as well as the effect we intend to have on others:
- Why am I posting? To what end? We ought to point to God: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Do I want God to garnish my media without satisfying and changing my heart? Jesus warned, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness” (Luke 11:39).
- Do I only bless God before others in comfortable times? May we say aloud with Paul, “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:12).
- Do I celebrate others? Proverbs 14:30 cautions that “envy makes the bones rot.” Envy spoils hearts. Spoilt hearts wield rotten fingers. They will not type others’ praises.
- In all things, do I invite others to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)?