Do you ever scroll through instagram and just get this pit in your stomach that the people in the photos you’re staring at are so much greater than you? “They have more friends than me, they have a perfect relationship, they always look photoready, they are are so much more adventurous than me.” Or maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum and you often find yourself battling your own pride. As you scroll, you feel better and better about yourself. “At least I don’t party like them. My post is so much more deep and meaningful than theirs. Wow, so-and-so is so into themselves, I mean just look at all those selfies!” I wish we didn’t have to face all of these ugly thoughts, but we live in a broken world and are all broken people. The world tells us to believe the lies, and we unintentionally let them consume us. We all put ourselves on a level, whether it be higher than others or lower than others, and it’s hurting us.
In John 4, the Bible tells a story about Jesus and a Samaritan woman. Jesus discovers this Samaritan woman at a well collecting water.
“‘Give me a drink,’ Jesus said to her.”
This was a big deal at the time for Jesus to approach this woman. Like, a super big deal. You see, Jews were not supposed to be seen with women and Jews were told not to associate with Samaritans. This woman was also an adulteress, yet Jesus still spoke to her. He didn’t have to talk to her, but He chose to. He chose to because He wanted her to know about the living water, which is the freedom and life found in Jesus Christ.
“Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water I give them will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”
This was pretty clever of Jesus. I actually sense a little bit of a mischievous spirit out of these verses. First, He catches her attention by asking her (and remember, this was not socially acceptable) for water. Intrigued, she continues the conversation and Jesus is able to tell her about eternal life. Snaps for Jesus, amirite! The thing that is so remarkable, to me, about what Jesus does here is that He does not show any hostility or disgust towards the woman, despite the sinful life that He knows she lives. He talks to her out of pure love, simply wanting her to know that a Savior has come and she can live forever with the heavenly Father.
So what does comparing ourselves on instagram have anything to do with this? Everything! Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman is proof that it doesn’t matter who we are. It doesn’t matter if we post selfies all of the time, write long captions, or have a “feed”; the playing field is level. Sure, on the outside it may look like some people have it more together, but we are all sinners!
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
God doesn’t use people who have it all together because that person does not exist. Brokenness is inevitable and evident inside of all of us, making us equal in Christ’s eyes. The Samaritan woman was living a life full of sin, but Jesus sought after her. In our heads, we create this line. I like to call it the “good enough” line. We assume that if we are under the line, God can’t use us and He wouldn’t even want to talk to us because we don’t measure up to the line. Other days, we feel so far over the line, as if we’re the most superior people on the planet, as if we’re maybe a god ourselves. But God wants to talk to those of us who feel “above the line” just as much as those who feel “below.” Because there is no line! There is nobody who is greater than you and nobody who is less than you because we all sin, so we all fall onto the same equal line. Except for Jesus, nobody who walked the earth is exempt from this line. It doesn’t matter how broken you feel, God has grace. It doesn’t matter how superior you feel, God will humble you. It doesn’t matter where we see ourselves on the “good enough” line because God sees us through the same eyes. He just sees us as His children. All of us have things we are trying to figure out, whether it be taking ourselves off the pedestal and putting Jesus on it, or remembering that Jesus deems us worthy no matter the weight of our sin.
Seriously, what a relief?! So, you don’t need to scroll through Instagram with this idea that you have to measure up or fit a certain image. You are enough because you are His child.