One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. Proverbs 13:7
According to an article in Psychology Today the advent of social media brought about a terrible case of lying. Lying about our weight, our age, our financial status, social standing, looks, and well, just about everything about ourselves. In a study that reviewed 80 online daters, researchers found that two thirds of participants lied about their weight by five pounds or more. In a large sample of over 2,000 people in England 43 percent of men admitted to making up facts about themselves and their lives that were not true. Most commonly, participants said that they only shared “non-boring” aspects of their lives (32 percent) and were not as “active” as their social media accounts appeared (14 percent).
Some might say, eh, what’s the big deal? While we humans like to think we are individually responsible for our own health and well-being we actually are in a giant social contract with each other. When a young teen looks at people online having the time of their lives 24/7 they may think, “why is my life so boring?” Unhappiness, dissatisfaction, loneliness, or worse, thoughts of harming themselves are paths many may take when evaluating their own “normal” lives.
I remember having this very conversation with my youngest daughter her first year of college. “Everyone else that went off to school seems to be so happy. Why am I struggling?” she once said. I reminded her that very, very few people post the other 12 or 18 hours of their day when they are studying for a test, sitting alone having lunch, or crying from homesickness.
Our wise words today speak to how we show our wealth or lack thereof. But in the larger scheme of things, it’s about pretending to be something we are not. I can’t help but think this comes from a place of looking for love and affirmation in the wrong places. God loves you when you have money and when you don’t. He loves you when you are doing boring things like taking out the trash. He loves you when you are on a fabulous vacation or quietly reading a book on the couch.
Friend, God loves you when you are being true to your situation. You don’t need to pretend to be something you aren’t. So stop trying to keep up with the influencers who stood in line for three hours to get that perfect shot in Malta. If all you can do for a vacation is take a hike in your nearby woods, enjoy every single minute of it. God is with you and loves you right where you are.
Lord, help me shine for the person you made me to be right now. I want to be thankful for the blessings you have given me. I know you love me whether rich or poor. Whatever you have blessed me with help me to bless others by being genuine and true. Amen