I don’t know about you, but the pressure and rush of the holidays leaves me feeling a bit depleted and often inadequate. I allow myself to get caught up in what Ms. So-and-So is doing…her beautiful decorations, her picture-perfect meals, and her charming family photographs. I see them all and I tell myself that I cannot compare or measure up to Ms. So-and-So!
Frankly, social media does not help with these feelings of inadequacy and self-condemnation. You know what I’m talking about! Ms. So-and-So is on all the current social media sights posting her sublime life for everyone to see. (I’ve been guilty of this myself!) Wanting to seem like we have it all together with our pefect children and adoring husbands is quite the temptation. Honestly, who wants to post pictures of dirty floors, a sink full of dishes, the kids bickering over the last piece of fruit, or the perpetually late husband coming in the door two hours after he was due home?? I’ll raise my hand first…not me!
How do we overcome this need to impress and compete with Ms. So-and-So? How do we live authentically among the mess and noise and chaos that constantly presses in on us? How do we overcome that staggering, self-imposed obligation to please?
Well, first we have to understand who we are trying to please! Who am I trying to impress and why? I posit that it is not the Lord, but those millions of people on social media, who may or may not know me. Why do I do this to myself? Probably because I want to be liked, thought well of, and respected. Oh, the conviction I feel for trying to set myself up on the pedestal of popularity!
I sought the Lord — I asked Him to help me change this desire to please others and not Him. He swiftly turned me back to His Word…chastising, correcting, and then restoring me to Himself.
The Apostle Paul challenges me to be an imitator of him, just as he also is of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 11:1 NASB) Over in Ephesians, Paul exhorts: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB) A “fragrant aroma” to the Lord. Oh, yes, please Lord! Help me to set aside myself so that my life can be an offering and a sacrifice to You as a fragrant aroma.
Remember this: Ms. So-and-So is trying to please self and the unknown masses herself. Ask God how you can encourage her to be still and allow her life to be fragrant to Him. I encourage you also, beloved…don’t get so caught up in the aromas of Gingerbread Houses and Hot Apple Cider that you have lost who you are in Christ Jesus. Make your home this Christmas season warm with love…let the Gingerbread and Apple Cider be a beautiful reminder that you are His…your family is His…that is a fragrant aroma to Him!