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Don’t Be a Show-off Online – Rick Warren

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 6:1 (NLT)

Do you remember seeing the photo of an elderly woman in a throng of young people who all have their phones up, trying to capture whatever moment is in front of them? The old woman is the only one who is not trying to capture the moment on her phone. In fact, she has the most serene look on her face and is smiling, as if she is truly relishing the moment.
You can’t be in the moment while you’re trying to capture the moment.

As an example, you will never see a photo of me during my quiet time. Why? Because if I’m focusing on getting a great picture for Instagram, then my communion with God is not authentic. I do not have the right motivation for posting to social media or for doing a quiet time. You need to have a quiet time with God every day, but it ought to be between you and God.

You can’t be in the moment while you’re trying to capture the moment.

Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1 NLT). In other words, if you take the good you’ve done and brag about it online just so other people will give you recognition, then that’s all the reward you’re going to get.

Social media offers a huge temptation to show off. But when you show off, it builds barriers. It doesn’t build fellowship. It doesn’t draw you closer to anybody. If you want to draw closer to people, then do the opposite. Share the problems Jesus is helping you with. Be real! Give people a look at your bloopers and not just your highlight reel. They will be encouraged to ask God to help them with their problems too.

“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time” (1 Peter 5:6 GNT).

Don’t worry when others use social media to promote themselves. If you’re a child of God, then he will promote you at the right time, when he knows you’re ready. When you stop pretending to be somebody you’re not, you’ll be at peace just being who God made you to be, right where he meant for you to be. Then you can really enjoy the moment.

Talk It Over

Is it difficult for you to be content only with God’s praise instead of the praise of people? Why or why not?
Why does showing off keep you from developing deep, authentic relationships?
How do other people’s highlight reels on social media make you feel discontented with your life?

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