In this age of social media, we all are presented with multiple platforms on which to share with the world how we see ourselves.
In itself, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I remember the early days of having a Myspace as a 14-year-old. I remember staring at the cursor on my blank “About Me” blurb and wondering what to write. I remember changing it countless times over the course of having a Myspace, as I constantly sought to “re-invent” myself.
Today, we have things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Vine. We can share with our friends little pictures or blurbs that together—as we all know—paint a picture of who we are. We’re the happy person smiling in the selfie. We’re the student sitting down to study with a latte at Starbucks. We’re having a rough day and just need to rant. We’re having a great day and just want to share our joy. Together, all of these little pictures and/or blurbs tell our friends and followers just who we are and how we see ourselves.
Or to put it a different way: it invites our friends or followers to share with us—by their likes, comments, (or lack thereof), or generally passive-aggressive statuses— how they see us and who they think we are.
“But who do you say that I am?”
I think we can all take a lesson from Peter.
In Matthew 16, after asking Peter how others perceive him, Jesus asks Peter a more important question: “Who do YOU say that I am?” We all know Peter’s response:
“You are the Christ! The Son of the Living God!”
Upon his confession of faith, Jesus tells Peter who he is:
“Blessed are you, Simon, bar Jonah…and I tell you, you are Peter, and upon you I will build my Church.”
See, once Peter knew who Jesus was to Him, it was made clear to Peter just who he was to the Creator. Peter’s identity is found not in his ability to catch a fish or even to preach. Peter’s identity is found in Christ.
Finding our identity in Christ is amazingly freeing. It doesn’t mean we won’t need to be reminded of it from time to time, or that we won’t face hardships. But in those moments that you know the truth that you belong to Christ, it doesn’t matter how many likes you get on your Instagram picture, or even if people comment on your page at all. It doesn’t matter if the meeting at work today goes wonderfully or if it goes terribly. You belong to Christ. When you know this, when you truly give every aspect of your life over to Christ— not out of fear or simple obedience but because you truly trust that He is the Son of the Living God– you’re free to rest in confidence and peace.
So I hope you know today that you belong to Christ. I hope you’re unafraid to give everything in your life to Him. I hope you don’t place too much stock in what your Instagram or your Facebook looks like today (but I do hope that what you post on those is befitting of your dignity as a son or daughter of God). Above all I hope you know that the infinite and merciful God loves you.