Have you ever felt timid about sharing your true convictions on social media because of the societal backlash that may follow?
We live in a world where if you say the wrong thing at the wrong time, you’ll be under fire before you know what hit you. While it’s tempting to fear social media bullies and walk around on eggshells, is that really freedom? Is that how Jesus wants us to live?
How do we, as Christians, break free from seeking the approval of others and live from a place of wholeness, joy, security, and strength? How do we grow increasingly secure in who we are in Christ?
Proverbs 29:25 says this:
“The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord will be exalted and safe.”
When we fear man’s opinion more than God’s honor, we will stumble into trouble. We’ll cater to the whims of the crowd, and we’ll lose our influence and even our sense of peace. But when we rightly revere God in our lives and faithfully steward what He assigns to us, we can trust Him to come to our defense, have our back, and lead us to new places of freedom.
In this age of social media rage, we must still take our cues from God Himself. Not one of us can carry the world on our shoulders. Not one of us has the frame to shoulder the whole of God’s burden for the world. Not one of us will get it right, say it right, and do it right all of the time. And praise God, He knew it all along! Others may hold you to a standard that they themselves cannot achieve, but God receives you right where you are, as you are, and He leads you on the best pathway for your life. Jesus, Himself, issued us this blessed invitation:
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest(renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”
One of the reasons it’s so easy to fear the loud crowd is because we still have some unhealed areas in our lives. Places that God wants to restore, repair, and refresh. Recently on Susie Larson Live, I spoke with psychiatrist and counselor, Dr. Curt Thompson, about his brilliant book, “The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves”. In his book, Dr. Thompson reflected on the journey of those he worked with who courageously engaged their stories and moved to deeper places of connection with God and others. He found several common denominators in their stories:
- They learned to pay attention to what they pay attention to
- That memory is as much about predicting the future as it is about recalling the past (the story you tell yourself about your past directly impacts your future)
- They understood that their patterns of attachments with their primary caregivers and current intimate relationships shape their experience with God.
- They understood that their awareness of God’s deep, joyful pleasure with them everywhere changes everything about how they interpret what they sense, imagine, feel, think, and do
- They believe that life is not about not being messy but about being creative with the messes we have
- They know that ruptures will occur, but resilience and life is found in how we repair them
- They believe that Jesus has come not only to show them how to do all of these things but to empower them to do so on the way to God’s Kingdom coming in its fullness
Jesus dismantled the power of shame when we won His victory on the Cross. And though shame seems to be our culture’s favorite weapon these days, we don’t have to bow to it. We can live free, in Jesus’ Name.
 Paraphrased content from Dr. Curt Thompson’s book, The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves, InterVarsity Press, 2015Shame Culture