Not long ago I was scrolling through social media and found myself disheartened. Photo after photo slapped me awake with immodest images, crude language and innuendo. Worldly philosophies permeated the newsfeed. “Follow your heart.” “Never take no for an answer.” “The best thing we can do for our daughters to show them how to be happy.”
The more I saw, and the more I’ve observed in the past year, the more I’ve begun to ask, “Where have all the good girls gone?” ‘
Standing up for yourself and being a fiery, strong-willing “woman” is the ideal. The result? We’ve created spoiled, half-naked, drama queens who think the world revolves around them and can’t keep steady friendships, or any relationship for that matter, if their spray-tanned little lives depended on it.
Instead of teaching our girls to follow Christ, we shove phones in their hands and wonder why they struggle. Maybe the question should be, “Where have all the parents gone?”
The world says, “Follow your heart.” Jesus says, “Follow Me.”
The world tells us, “Look out for yourself. You create your own happiness.” Jesus says, “True joy is found in giving yourself away.”
The world says, “To get ahead, you must climb the ladder. Step on the weak. It’s a dog-eat-dog world.” Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be first must be the servant of all.”
The world says, “Get more and find more happiness.” Jesus says, “Contentment is found in knowing and following Me.”
Somewhere along the way, we’ve failed to teach our girls these truths and so they are self-obsessed, fulfilling their longings with attention in all its forms, starving on their abundance, while their souls are begging for what truly satisfies.
The whole thing makes me weep.
It’s tempting to look at the world, and its ways, and claim shock and disappointment, but it isn’t the world’s fault. Not really. Lost people act lost. That’s what they are supposed to do. It’s like being angry with a cat for doing cat-like things. So before we throw the whole lot under the bus, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the Christian women. The believers. You and me.
A phrase that has always bugged me is, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Jesus never told us to love sinners. He told us to love our neighbor. Saying you’re loving the sinner automatically places you as better than another. You are the one stooping down to love the one messing up. But Jesus never told us it was a competition as to who was the bigger goof-up.
Christian women, I’m afraid we’re often guilty of parading around our righteousness like a trophy, all the while using it like a mask to hide our wounds and insecurities. We act like we have no worries, no problems, no issues, no family drama, no cares because Jesus has fixed them all. We lie to ourselves and to a lost world because we can’t deal with the messy things in our lives. Meanwhile, unbelievers, and even new believers, see our plastic smiles, our too-perfect social media pages and think, “I’ll never get it together. Why can’t God do that for me? What am I doing wrong?”
Churches say, “There’s no need to talk about that heavy stuff. Personal problems shouldn’t get mixed up in church work.” Jesus says, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
Church folks say, “I’ve been so busy for God this week. I’ll post a few of these pics on Facebook so everyone will know what I’ve been up to.” Jesus says, ““Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
Some Christians think, “If I follow Jesus, everything will be easy and happy.” Jesus says, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
God never promised to come in like a genie and fix everything this side of heaven. What He did do is promise to walk with us through our hard times. He knows that pain helps us grow. It’s uncomfortable and hard but we stagnate without it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: we’ve all messed up. There are no good girls out there. “There is none righteous. No not one.” (Romans 3:10) That’s kind of the point. We’re all a hot mess. We all need a Savior. The difference between the lost and saved is that believers have asked Jesus to forgive them. The only good in any of us is Him…and His goodness is the only way we can live a life set apart. A life that gives others hope.
Instead of parading our awesomeness on social media this week, perhaps we should focus on loving our neighbor. That is when Jesus shines brightest.