Saturday, July 7, 2012

Facebook Faces

I'm not picking on Facebook, but I will use it as an example. For the most part, Facebook is full of the highlights of our lives. We share all the good and fun stuff that's going on. We put our best foot (or face) forward and we entertain each other. It's a proven fact that to even get noticed on Facebook these days you have to have good images with your posts and clever things to say. I enjoy looking at photos and hearing about all the good stuff going on in people's lives. Except...

just how real is that?

In some cases, the good stuff is only half-truths. There are struggles going on in everyone's lives that are often not shared. Some are small struggles that don't seem important in the scheme of life--especially when compared to someone's public life and death struggles. But they are important to you.

Nevertheless, we put on our Facebook Faces when we go out in public--to work, to church, to the store. "How are you?" "Oh, fine." Inside you're thinking, not fine; if you only knew.

What's really bothering you...

  • are the grocery and gas prices that keep going up and the economy keeps going down.
  • is concern about that family member or friend who is sick or near death. 
  • your adult child or grandchild who's walked away from the Lord.
  • the marriage that has hit a really tough spot.
  • the dreams and desires that never seem to pan out for your life.

The problem with always having our Facebook Faces on is how deceptive that is for others who see us. When life is always "rosy at our house," others see this and assume it to be true. Then they compare that with their own lives and believe there's something terribly wrong with their own lives.The following quote from A Confident Heart by Renee Swope sums up the problem:

"Comparison leaves us insecure, confused, and discontent. My friend Genia summed it up well when she told me, 'Every time I compare myself with someone else, I can never measure up because I am comparing my insides with their outsides.' ...God never intended for us to compete with each other; He wants us to complete one another, celebrating and encouraging each other’s strengths while discovering who He created us to be."

I really like that compete vs. complete comparison.

After I started writing this post I had to put it aside so I could finish later. During this time, I was reading some of my favorite blogs and found another reference to this very issue. Yesterday on Beth Moore's Living Proof Blog she touched on this very topic. Beth ran into a younger friend who was struggling under some very heavy burdens. This friend asked Beth whether she ever struggled with issues. Beth responded with an affirmative, "Yes, I've been there," and proceeded to encourage this younger believer.

Obviously, nobody wants to be around a Debbie Downer all the time. (No offense if your name is Debbie.) But, there is a time and place to be transparent with other believers, to use our own lives as examples, to encourage and say Yes, I've been there.

If you need encouragement, feel free to leave a message here or hop over to Beth's blog using the link I provided and read some of those messages others have left.

1 comment:

Kathleen @ Kath Ink said...

The Happy Face put forth all of the time brings the image of always living in a resume world -- only highlighting the very best in a very best light. Yet, it is a hard balance of being real without complaining or seeming like a Debbie Downer.

I, too, like the idea of completing one another rather than competing. Good idea!