Let's be honest, the carefully curated Instagram photos have nothing to do with what someone really looks like, let alone who they are. This notion of carefully managing your social media image is partly a consequence of faulty thinking.
Jesus says, "Lose your life and you find it." There were a bunch of people who rejected Jesus back in the day because they valued their image and reputation above truth.
There are some things we must cultivate: truth, humility and justice, for example. There are things we must grow more than our following: love, joy, peace, patience kindness, self-control etc. Scripture says that promotion does not come from the North or the South, the East or the West, but promotion comes from the Lord. Get a new Brand Manager, and rather focus on your character, competence, calling, community... the important things.
I was reading this verse the other day, and it led me to wonder: has the world of social media made us more sensitized to "image" than we should be, and more susceptible to replacing true meaning in life for the "image of man"?
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Romans 1:22,23
The image of man I am thinking of is not the carved statue at the side of the Indian or African road, but the "influencers" we follow on social media, the YouTube celebrities we seek to emulate. It is the self-help philosophers whose over-toasted "truths" we swallow like marshmallows at a campfire (and that have about the same nutritional content.)
I love the fact that young people want to change the world. (This has been the case for generations; Millennials actually believe they can do it, however. This is true, thanks in part, to the tools that previous generations built for them... like the internet, web browsers and mobile devices. But I digress.) The downside of this world-changing-enthusiasm is that it often comes mixed with a tolerance, inclusion and muddiness around truth that fosters Myth#2:
As long as I have a good cause, I’m good
This can lead us to be crystal clear on how to save the whales, the planet, the spotted owl... but clueless when it comes to "saving our souls." We should save the whatever, but we should 100% make sure we are saved as well.
Convergence is that season or place in life where we cry out, "This is who I am; this is why I am made; this is what my life is for." It is when The 4-Cs overlap significantly: Career, Calling, Creativity and Community. I cover this in my book which is called Convergence.
I recently spoke on 12 Myths that will prevent us coming to Convergence; I have not done this before. The first myth I dealt with was the notion that we can find a great and meaningful purpose to life outside of God's will. Actually, this is true to a certain extent. Elon Musk may build a colony in space, and Steve Jobs certainly did create products that "bless" people daily. We can accomplish great things, but they will not necessarily lead to true Convergence when we live by the principles of God, but without the power and presence of God.
When we get got out of the middle, we don't: we actually replace him with another God.