Living Waters Challenge (1): Insecurities and self-esteem
So for the first week of this challenge, I immediately thought social media (which is pretty appropriate considering that it’s the reason I discovered the Living Waters Challenge). Who says that the Bible is outdated and out of context? In regards to insecurities and self-esteem, though, some of us have allowed social media to control our hands and behaviour.
Think of how many of us (I have been guilty too) who have used/are using it as a tool for validation to banish insecurities and build self-esteem. A tool that many are becoming reliant on to place value on themselves and others: ‘Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.’ (John 4:10)
How many times have we seen the person who will publish the outlandish, the critical, the embarrassingly humorous for a ‘like’, a ‘share’, ‘retweets’ or ‘favorites’? How many times have we and others used these as a way to validate and place value on ourselves? How many times have we drank from that social media well of validation and thirsted for it again a day, an hour, even a minute later? Why- because it’s unsustainable, unreliable and it’s not enough. Yet some of us yearn for it because we place our worth alongside and through it, to be used as a tool to build confidence.
We need to see our worth, our skills and cherish who we are in God’s eyes, in His heart and very Being. Hatred between Jews and Samaritans was long-standing, but Jesus chose to share His Message with a Samaritan. Women may not have been equally valued at the time, but Jesus chose to share His Message with her- because He saw her worth and importance in this world. Just as He sees ours.
We need to see our worth so that we too have the confidence to say, ‘… Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.’ (John 4:15) So that we use social media and other self-validating tools to publicise our worth, a worth we already know we have, not a manufactured fragile confidence that easily influenced and broken, but an established, nurtured, constant, unwavering value that we see through His eyes.
In no way am I saying that social media is bad, pointless or detrimental. Saying that would make me a hypocrite and that is something I try my best not to be. What I am asking is how are we judging our worth? Is it through a constant Being, or through an ever-changing volatile medium? Are we looking for a temporary fix, with fickle and limited encouragement and empowerment to ignore your own insecurities and hesitations?
Are you working from the ‘inside out’ or are you enabling the outside to work on your inward- and influence?
See social media and other tools as way to publicise your worth, an interactive, virtual CV if you like. Why are we placing such importance on faceless ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ and giving them the opportunity to value our worth, build or knock our confidence? We are looking to strangers, personalities and virtual personas for validation hoping that they will conclude and score us at a high value. For what reason?
We are entertaining an unquenchable, unnecessary and stifling thirst
because we perceive it to be important.
I constantly tell my mum that I will make her proud- today, thinking about my response to #LWChallenge (week one), I have realised that she has never given me a reason to feel that she is not proud of me- in fact she always replies “I AM proud of you”. I have let my own insecurities and low self-esteem make me believe that sometimes her pride is wavering. This is because I am not secure in myself, because I have not realised my place in Christ.
Instead, I look to other people and things for validation. But when I come to terms and realise the esteem God holds me in and the Love He has for me, any insecurities, self-esteem issues and fears based on my self-worth will have no voice and no relevance. They will be meaningless. If the Creator of wondrous, extraordinary things can love me and hold me in such high regard, what need do I have for others’ validation?
It’s something that I have heard, but a message that I need to listen and hold on to.
I’m still growing.
Of course others’ opinions and advice are create opportunities for progression, their advice can be so fruitful, but we must make sure that those who have our ear are worthy and that the vast and sometimes seemingly credible messages we receive off and on social media are filtered. We must understand our worth before others have a chance to comment on it. Otherwise we will be judging ourselves accordingly to others’ standards and we will lose our identity.
Understanding our worth in God will lead to Positive, Critical and Progressive movements. We must realign our focus away from messages that don’t support this. It’s something that I have heard, but a message that I need to listen and hold on to. I’m still growing.
I’m still receiving important Messages; still learning to filter through the sometimes misleading, seemingly credible voices; still working to achieve my Potential, but I can’t do that out of the eye line of God.
Thank you Kanayo and Susan for getting me to critically engage with the Word. I don’t think I’ve done so before- but let me celebrate that it’s happening now.