Craving Affirmation

“Please pray that I would be bold in sharing Christ with my classmates this semester.”

That’s the simple message I posted two years ago on a GroupMe group I’m a part of. Along with it, I shared a picture of my smiling self on the Texas Tech campus.

It got 15 likes.

My message was innocent enough. After all, the prayer request was worthwhile. The grammar and syntax were correct. Even the picture was nice.

But the motivation behind the post? Totally selfish.

Looking back, I shamefully realize I had one goal in mind when I posted that:

Impress my friends.

That’s why I picked up my phone that day, snapped a selfie, typed the message, and hit send. Prayer? Actually sharing the gospel? Meh. Those were way down the priority list. I was primarily concerned with the well-being and popularity of one person: me. It was a strategic, superficial act designed to impress others and receive self-affirmation. I thought, if people like my post, then I’ll feel good about myself! I was craving the fleeting enjoyment of a well-received social media post.

Even though those 15 likes were gratifying, looking back, I think, come on Garrett. Your priorities were way, way off.

We’ve all been there before, haven’t we?

I share this to encourage all of us to consider our motivations. Stop and think about what compels you to post on social media, to say the things you say, to live the way you live. Is it all a calculated effort to please your parents? Your peers? That attractive single person you’re smitten with? Have we become short-sighted and entangled in trivial things?

No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. | 2 Timothy 2:4

Public opinion is so fickle. Instead of craving the praise of others, we should daily be striving to please the One whose opinion really matters. We need to be Christ-pleasers, not people-pleasers. That is something of which I need to be regularly reminded.

Whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. | 2 Corinthians 5:9

Of course it’s not bad to use social media. And it is nice whenever friends like our posts. But think how much more rewarding it will be to someday hear these words:

Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. | Matthew 25:23

2 thoughts on “Craving Affirmation

  1. That verse from 2 Corinthians is one of my favorites! 🙂

    Thanks for being so transparent in your writing, Garrett! Social media plays a much bigger role in fueling our desires for affirmation than we even realize. After reading your post, Nathan & I were talking a bit about this: For many of us who grew up in Christian homes, it’s fairly easy for us to simply “play the part,” if you will. It’s even easier to do so with the wrong intentions (and not even realize it!). Remembering to be a CHRIST-pleaser instead of a people-pleaser is certainly a reminder I need often as well. Thanks for challenging us with this!

    Praying He would convict our hearts, help us resist the ease of simply “acting Christian,” & help us to pursue Him with pure & zealous hearts!

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