August 29, 2017
“Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Ephesians 4:14 (NLT)
I couldn’t really tell you when or how I first saw her post.
I can tell you that I loved her style. Everything about the vibe she created appealed to me — her pants, her hair, even her sunglasses called my name. After describing each piece in detail, she included a simple hashtag: #OOTD — outfit of the day. Each day I couldn’t wait to see what she would put together … and whether or not I had similar pieces in my closet, too!
It didn’t take long for me to see the truth: There weren’t many clothes in my closet that looked like hers.
I decided I “needed” to pick up new pieces to get her look. Doing some shopping might not seem like a big deal. Lots of gals enjoy copying their favorite fashionista. But the thing is I’m not a shopper. Yet I started to notice a big change in me. This new me, the one unlike the true me, found herself wanting to spend more and more time scouring the internet and strolling in the mall to get her look.
One day, in the middle of this “becoming” I was experiencing, a young woman confided in me a struggle pulling her under. She said that each year, as the weather warmed up, she found her self-confidence dipping low. Covering all kinds of conversational territory to figure out the cause, we finally landed on the culprit: swimsuits and shorts splashed all over social media. The more skin she saw, the more aware she became of her own body.
She found she didn’t want her own body; she wanted to be someone else. I encouraged her: Be brave. Get off social media. Clear your heart and mind by clearing your apps.
Can I just tell you as soon as this “wise” advice came out of my mouth, I felt it coming right back at me? I, too, needed to be brave when it came to wanting to be like the #OOTD gal instead of just being me.
Ephesians 4:14 tells us: “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Here, the apostle Paul is telling us we don’t have to believe all the things people say about God; that can make us shaky. We need to believe what God says about Himself.
The same is true when we spin this way and that, believing things that are not true about ourselves and then trying to be someone we’re not. It makes us shaky inside — insecure. Social media has the power to do just that, to cause us to be tossed and blown about, influenced by every new thing we see and read. It doesn’t take much for powerful feelings to swirl up and sweep away God’s Truth that we intentionally pour into our hearts.
This is true for us, and it’s also true for our children. In this time of growing from child to adult, they need God to help them so they don’t feel constantly pushed one way and then the other. God can make us all brave and give us the courage to be the true individuals He made us to be.
Dear Jesus, I just want to be me. I want my kids to be brave enough to be themselves, too, but sometimes we’re afraid others won’t like us just as we are. Help us, Lord, to like ourselves and trust You to bring friends into our lives who like us for exactly who we are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 118:6, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (NIV)
Ephesians 3:16-18, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” (NIV)
Lynn Cowell’s newest book, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You, for young girls ages 8-12, officially releases today! If you know a young girl who needs to learn to be brave and become courageous, confident and fearless, this is the book for her! Click here to order your copy today!
Head to Lynn’s blog to download six free Brave Beauty mobile lockscreens. These fun images can be sent via text or uploaded to your tween’s electronic device to remind her of who God says she is.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When you scroll through social media, what feelings do you find stirred inside of you?
As children head back to school, how can you empower younger people around you to be brave enough to be themselves?
© 2017 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Originally published Tuesday, 29 August 2017.