Larger Secret Spaces and Smaller Public Spaces
- “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:1
I read this verse in Matthew chapter 6, verse 1, and just stopped…something within my heart did not feel right.
“Am I guilty of this… Are we all distracted by public praise…Do we realize the magnitude of having treasures in Heaven?”
What an interesting world we live in today. Those of us that are my age (and beyond) remember a day when social media did not exist. Fast forward…and today children are literally born on social media (day one their lives start being displayed). Before I continue, let me first clarify that this is not a social media shaming post. To be honest I do see some value in having an online presence. However, I think we can all agree that it’s gone too far. Psychology suggest that it puts humans in a perpetual state of adolescence, pornography is out of control, keyboard warriors are among us, and anxiety is taking over our young people.
These are not the things that I want to talk about today…
I want to talk to the Christ Followers, I want to talk to those who are truly seeking a righteous life, I want to talk to those who truly desire to walk in alignment with God. CAN WE GET REAL?
Several months ago I shut down all of my social media, some might say “I went dark”. Here is what I realized:
- The circle of people that actually care about me and my life is really very small. I mean really small… yet, somehow, it seemed better than trying to keep up with hundreds of other humans.
- The circle of people that I am able to invest my energy in is actually very small.
- I’m almost 44 years old and the comparison trap still gets me.
- I also fall into the trap of defining success by what others appear to be doing in life. When I stopped looking at what everyone else appeared to be doing, it was much easier to define success for my life.
- I was able to care less about what others thought and focus more on what I thought. I wonder how often we quit thinking for ourselves and simply adopt the most popular thoughts that appear in our feeds?
- I became ok with my work and life being lived out in the secret place.
- This one is huge!!!! Having a deep conversation with one or two people is better than a stage, with an audience of hundreds. Note: There is nothing wrong with a God-ordained platform.
I have turned Instagram back on and am still trying to find the right balance. It’s interesting how fast the praise of others will suck us right back in! I want to believe that when we share things (not just online but even in conversation) that it all comes down to the motivation of the heart, but I wonder how many times we deceive ourselves?
- “I’ll share that picture of my perfect dinner, with that perfectly cooked meal…” (What’s the motivation?)
- “I did a good deed today, I think I will share it with the world…” (What’s the motivation)?
I really think that we struggle to stop and truly be honest about where our motivations come from. Jesus said…”you display your righteousness so that others will see it…”
If we did allow God to reveal the deeper motivations, would we discover that there are empty spaces within, spaces that God wants to fill, spaces that we keep filling with the praise of others?
When I read Matthew chapter 6, I became convicted. REAL TALK: I have recently posted a couple of pictures that I now believe fall in the category of “practicing my righteousness before other people…” AKA – I want people to affirm me, to approve of me, and so on…
The moment that I posted these photos and then checked back (several times) for the likes…is the moment that I shrunk my Secret Space and Enlarged My Public Praise Space.
I feel like we have an epidemic of empty people who have become addicted to the approval of others, I speak from experience. What I have also found to be true is that the Secret Space is where we find:
- fulfillment that never runs out,
- acceptance that runs deep,
- blessings that overflow,
- love that holds everything together,
- purpose that causes us to get outside of ourselves…
I recognize there are still a lot of questions around this topic and that individuals are really struggling with insecurities and confidence. This is why I created the course called “Becoming Who God Created You To Be.” If you would like to know more, you can take this course for FREE online: Click Here
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