“Hide This Cracked, Flawed Vessel” 1 or 1 Million Followers, Does it Really Matter?
There were several ways the same topic came up this week! It was associated with being “lovers of self”, “denying yourself”, and being guilty of making a platform for ourself instead of making one for God.
It started earlier this week when Ava (my 11 year old daughter) and I were having a conversation while getting ready together. There was a local news report about pedophiles posing as children on the ‘Musical.ly’ app to access our youth. I shared with Ava that if she didn’t personally know someone, do not allow them to follow her. I continued to say it doesn’t matter how many “likes” or followers one has. Having a certain number of likes and followers doesn’t validate us and it certainly doesn’t justify our worth and significance. This is where I became transparent before my 11 year old daughter. I said, ”Ava, even mommy struggled with this just a few days ago!” Adults get caught up in the rat race to be liked and accepted just as today’s youth. It is easy for me to look at another DS advocate and see how many followers they have and think, “I Blog, I am a pretty good writer, and I’ve had multiple articles published. I spread positivity and attempt to educate others because I genuinely care and want others to see the beauty of Down Syndrome. I want to share the love of Christ and be a positive example to whomever will see and hear.” So why does this person have 9,000+ or 12,000+ followers and I have 1,000? Then, I’m convicted. My goal is to make a difference in just one life. I remain more humble by hiding behind the platform instead of making it my own. My intentions are not prideful, but when I have the competitive thoughts like I just mentioned, I’m most definitely not hiding behind anything, especially The Cross!
I also shared this transparency with my declared sister, Karen, yesterday as we walked the Atlanta Belt Line with our daughters. She is always so positive and relatable. She said, “Sis, everyone struggles with this. It’s human nature!” She always has a way of making me feel “normal”. That is the same intentions I have for those I know personally and through social media as I write and blog about life, relationships, and the beauty of living with Down Syndrome.
This same topic came up once again after seeing a post from @iamhe.simple on Instagram. It was through a powerful video of how social media and devices manipulate and monopolize our time. How we promote ourselves, instead of caring for others and loving God with all our heart. We have become lovers of flesh. After seeing the video, I immediately thought/ prayed, “Lord, please search me and convict me if I’m guilty of any of this. I don’t want to be so focused on myself, my feelings, how things appear, or even how many see and receive what I stand and advocate for. I simply want to be a clean conduit for Christ’s honor and glory, not taking any away from Him. Lord, continue to create in me a clean heart, with love and compassion for others. Thank you for the gift of discernment. Help me to be focused on a relationship with you over religion. Thank you that social media can be used as a positive platform for encouragement, even a way to “check ourselves”!
Lastly, today at church, our pastor, Jerry Walls, spoke on this topic as well. We can all be guilty of making our own platform instead of a platform for God. He referenced the verses:
Matthew 16:24 (NIV) 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:2(NIV) 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For this topic to come up so often from various places in a few short days, I feel it is a message for me to hide in my heart and meant to share with whomever will listen. The prayer at the beginning of Nate Butler’s song “Crash and Burn” is prayed by Nathan Butler, Sr. It is one of my favorite prayers and songs! This prayer has become my prayer: “Father God, now in the name of Jesus, we pray now that you would hide this cracked, flawed vessel behind the cross. That you, Oh God, would stand up in this vessel of clay. That you, Oh God, would squash intellect, that you would hide education. That you, God, would move “Nate” (insert your name) out of the way. That God, these... your people, hear from You. Then, God save somebody in the process. Deliver somebody in the process. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”