Aug 11, 2019 • Written by Nicki Behnke
I want to be happy for her, really I do, but as I scroll past her latest social media post a look of criticism spreads across my face. This week her children smile at me in their perfectly coordinated outfits with a beautiful oceanside view in the background. Last week I couldn’t contain my eye rolls as I scrolled through her son’s over-the top perfectly themed Birthday celebration complete with a homemade 3 layer cake.
Logic tells me that anything can be made to look a certain way through a camera’s lens, but doubt forms and jealousy grows… just a small seed at first, but my collection of these seeds seems to be growing lately and I don’t like what it is building inside of me.
Why is it so difficult to be happy for others? Why can’t I scroll past other Mom’s posts and celebrate their highs? Where did this ability come from to put on a fake smile and give a reaction that is anything but genuine? And why do I bother?....Because the Lord knows my heart, and so do I.
A while back I came across Hebrews 3:13 and felt a tug to make some changes in this area of my life. I was becoming a jealous scroller.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13
Was I being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness? Was I allowing myself to be tricked by giving into these jealous emotions on a daily basis? And how exactly was encouragement linked to this remedy? I decided to make some changes.
First I began to pray specifically about this area of my life. I asked God to change my heart, to give me the ability to look out instead of in, and to protect me from being tricked into a hardened heart. I not only asked Him but I thanked Him in advance for the change I was certain He would accomplish in me.
Next I began to celebrate other’s joys by posting encouraging words on their social media posts. I was surprised that after a while, these words began to flow more naturally and freely.
Lastly, I unfollowed the people who’s posts continued to bring negative emotions to the surface as I realized it was my problem and not theirs. A strange part of me didn’t want to let go, certain I would miss something by not following them. Much to my surprise, this separation brought about the space that my soul desperately needed to heal.
Over time, God has softened my heart in this area. He has renewed the ability in me to be genuinely happy for others and to celebrate with them.
This freedom is not just for me, but for you too if my story sounds all too familiar. Comparison and jealousy, whether on social media or in real life, can turn into an ugly thing if left unchecked.
When you take steps towards allowing God to remake an area of your life you are choosing spiritual freedom. By recognizing and stepping away from sin’s deceitfulness your heart will be softened and from a former jealous scroller let me encourage you, it’s so worth it.
More of Nicki’s posts can be found at reallifeinreverse.blogspot.com.