The other day, I made a VSCO Cam. I sorted through my camera roll, desperately searching for the most aesthetically pleasing pictures I could find that would look great with a filter and a cool caption.
I think I changed my Instagram bio about fourteen times until I was sure it proved I was Christian yet really hip at the same time.
Oh yeah, and I had a really good quiet time at a local coffee shop the other day. I made sure I put it on my Instagram... and my Snapchat story... and I made a Facebook post about it.
You see, I try so hard to prove to the world that I am, indeed, a hip Christian. I work so hard at making sure every aspect of my life on social media is aesthetically pleasing. I refuse to post a picture if I don't look good in it, my handwriting in my journal isn't perfect, or my coffee isn't the right shade of tan. And as I reflect on the past few months I've spent working so hard to make sure I portrayed myself the right way, I realize how insanely ignorant I am.
I go to class with no makeup on, a big tshirt, and my hair looking like a rats nest. I usually drink my coffee out of a styrofoam cup instead of a coffee mug from Anthropologie. My nails aren't always painted, I don't spend time with the Lord every day, and sometimes, I listen to Taylor Swift instead of Judah and the Lion. And you know what? That's real life.
My Instagram isn't real life. My VSCO Cam isn't real life. The hours and hours I've spent making sure I portray myself in the perfect light are honestly a waste of time. Because in real life, I'm a messy, broken girl. I don't have it all together. And although I want to seem as though I'm your ideal, artsy Christian college girl, I'm not.
So what? What's so wrong with writing pretty verses in my journaling Bible? What's the problem with "Instagramming" pretty pictures with beautiful captions?
The other day, I read an article that had the quote "Be as you wish to seem" in it. And as I sit and think about it, I know how I "wish to seem." I wish I always had my hair in a cute middle part, choker fastened around my neck, donning my Free People shirt and New Balances. I wish I spent time with the Lord every day and that my actions always flowed from that. I wish I overflowed kindness and compassion and love and grace to all of my friends because of how the Lord feels about me. I wish I didn't have to prove how much I love my friends by writing a sweet caption about them or putting them on my Snapchat story.
But I think the key thing about that quote is that it calls us to "Be." We actually have to be the way we want people to see us. And being isn't based off of how clean our hair is or how pretty our handwriting is. Being is based off of how we love. It's based off of where our hearts are.
The literal definition of "be" is "to exist." So, my question to you is this: how are you existing? How are you living on a daily basis? For me, my Instagram and my real life are on two opposite poles. My heart isn't in tuned with the Father's, though my last Facebook post says it is. My challenge to you is to see where in your life you need change and to go after it. Chase after a life full of love, grace and compassion, don't just portray yourself as a person who does. Because I promise, authenticity is admired, respected, and appreciated.
No, this doesn't mean you can't have a sick Instagram. And no, this doesn't mean you need to just post ugly selfies on your VSCO. But don't live a fake life through your social media. I promise, the lifestyle you're desiring is so sweet, but you won't experience that sweetness until you actually strive for it.