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  • Stacy Sanchez

Fragments of Who I Am

As a fledgling writer, the first thing I was taught was not about the craft of writing, but the importance of building the dreaded platform.

I took workshops specifically on expanding my reach. I learned the importance of being on every social media platform possible to “build my tribe,” long before I ever had a book to publish. I discovered I should be on a multitude of sites at the same time and need to post multiple times daily. Why? To be known and to be seen. The purpose of social media is to bring us closer together. We can be friends with people from around the world whom we may never meet in person.

Indeed, social media has its place and increased our audience for ministry opportunities, but has it also diminished our capacity to relate to one another? I think it’s safe to say yes. I can be whoever I want to be on social media. My life is as perfect as I choose to post. The pictures and posts I allow my “friends” to see aren’t my true self. They’re merely fragments of who I am.

We long to be acknowledged, accepted, and loved. We’ve lost the art of community and look for it anywhere possible. Since the Covid pandemic, we no longer meet face-to-face as much as we once did. We’ve learned it’s easier to meet computer-to-computer—even for church. Social media has helped some who cannot get to a worship service, but it’s difficult to love one another via the internet.

The world craves attention and looks for it in all the wrong places. Sometimes, we, too, get caught up in seeking the approval of others. Did we get any “likes” on our post? How does my profile picture measure up? Do I look old and fat? It’s a battle that wages within us because we’re human. Let’s be real, being validated feels good.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:1 NIV).

God sent Samuel to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem. He was to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel. One by one, the men were brought before Samuel. As the first son, Eliab, stood in front Samuel, he thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:6) NIV. Samuel must have been pretty darn impressed to have said that at first sight.

Samuel saw the outward appearance of Eliab. He didn’t know any more about Eliab than his physical appearance. When we scroll social media, we only see the outward appearance of the people who post, too. We have no idea if they’re happy, have a good character, or miserable and putting on a good face.

God didn’t anoint the obvious choice. He anointed a lowly shepherd boy. David didn’t have a large platform. Not many people knew him. But God did. God saw the boy’s heart and knew he would become the greatest king of Israel, from whom the Messiah would one day come.

God sees our hearts, as well. Even if we think we don’t measure up to the people on our screens. Like David, God knows who He has called us to become and what He has anointed us to do.

Lord God, sometimes we get caught up in what another person’s life seems to be and feel as though we don’t measure up. Help us to remember You see the inside—our heart. Father, conform our heart to Yours. In our prayerful meditations, help us to hear Your voice. Make it so loud that it drowns out the voice of the world calling us away from You. Remind us, the only validation we need is Yours.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).


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