In 2016 Facebook announced the release of five new emoji reactions in addition to their infamous “like” button. The most widely used social network with over 1 billion users, introduced the “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad” and “angry” emoticons further encouraging network users to chat, send messages and post updates to their friends and family throughout the world.
I’ve been on Facebook for about seven years now and agree it is a great way to stay connected to friends and family but what happens when we seek our validation and worth based upon the number of likes, comments and shares generated from our pictures and posts?
Lately, I’ve felt an unhealthy urge to constantly check my Facebook page after posting a blog post or picture. I would tell myself:
I’ll just check to see if I have any comments to my post. It’ll be five minutes, tops. I won’t spend a lot of time on Facebook…
If I had one or two likes in response to my post, I found myself re-checking my page 10 minutes later to see if my numbers had changed. Had I accrued more likes? Had I received any comments or shares? If I had, I found myself very satisfied, and if I hadn’t, I found myself disappointed.
Maybe my post or picture wasn’t so great after all…
In my prayer time, I knew this thought process was unhealthy. I was treading on dangerous spiritual ground by seeking my validation and worth based on the number of likes my Facebook posts or pictures generated. So I began to pray and God led me to Galatians 1:10.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
God wants us to firmly understand that our worth and value come from Him — and not people. Similar to the Apostle Paul, I couldn’t focus on trying to please God and win man’s approval. Trying to count the number of likes and base my value on the approval of people caused me to have a divided heart. I needed to understand that when I released a blog post, posted a prophetic word, published a new book, shared a broadcast from my Christian radio show, whether I received one like or 1,000 likes I HAVE BEEN CALLED BY GOD, and His calling is irrevocable. Either I was going to trust God and rest in His approval or disregard His approval by trying to win the approval of man.
Do you believe that the number of likes, comments, shares or hearts you receive on social media are not an indication of your worth, value or anointing?
I know you may hear this and perhaps it is in your head, but has this truth settled in your heart?
God began to deal with me directly on how I needed to re-arrange my affections and replace my desire in seeking the approval and likes from man to begin craving the heart and pleasure of God.
Essentially, it was necessary for me to be firm and resolute in understanding that if God was pleased with my ministry and life then that was most important.
No longer would I subconsciously focus on counting likes or seeking the coveted “heart” emoticon. Instead, I would set my affections on craving God’s heart. I imagined God placing a big, red heart as I diligently completed the tasks and assignments He had called me to and as I diligently pursued Him and studied His Word. I imagined God’s heart speaking back to me: “My daughter, I am pleased with you.”
Craving this type of heart – God’s heart brings eternity. This is what we should desire as Christians, eternal life in heaven with our Heavenly Father. Not the craving of a superficial, computerized emoji heart that is released (and sometimes deleted) according to the feelings and emotions of the giver.
If you find yourself measuring your self worth or value based upon your social media response or even second guessing your social media content due to a low following, ask yourself, “Am I seeking validation or approval from people? Am I seeking from man what only God can give me?”
Several preachers have preached the concept that we as humans have been created with a God-sized hole that can only be filled by God. Our God-sized hole will never be satisfied with worldly cravings, success, positions, influence or money. Neither will the God-sized hole be satisfied after receiving 50,000,000 likes, “hearts,” “wow’s”, “haha’s” or “sad faces” on our Facebook page.
Only God can fill this void.
So if you find yourself empty, mindlessly scrolling through social media subtly seeking the attention, feedback, encouragement or validation from people, take time to log off social media and get in the presence of God. Ask God to bring healing and to uncover the underlying root issues in your life. In return, trust God to fill that void with His love and sweet spirit.
I’m an example that sometimes we just need a re-filling of God’s love. As humans our cups can get empty, and if we aren’t careful we will find ourselves with our empty containers looking for others to re-fill areas that only God can.