A wealthy and socially prominent heiress decided to have a biography written about herself and her famous family. The author she hired for the job discovered that one of her uncles was a murderer who had been electrocuted in a federal prison. The woman knew this was a dark family secret, and she wanted to keep it that way. The author insisted that this information must be included in his book. The heiress argued back and forth with the author until the author finally won the debate. But the heiress pleaded with the author to find a way to communicate the uncle’s demise inconspicuously.
When the book was published, the section about this particular uncle read as follows: “He occupied the chair of applied electricity in one of America’s best known institutions. He was very much attached to his position and literally died bound to his chair.”
What a creative and deceptive way to express the truth! We read this story with a giggle on one side and a bit of disgust on the other side. We giggle at the truth of the uncle’s story, and at the same time we are disgusted at the deception of it all. However, the truth is that we all want only the best of our lives to be revealed. No one wants their embarrassing past revealed for the whole world to see. We only want the highlights of our lives known to all while keeping the shame carefully tucked away in a dark closet.
Here lies one of the problems with social media today. We tend to see a “highlight reel” of our friends’ amazing lives. We see all of the good things going on in their lives and then celebrate those good things with a “like.” We have a tendency to compare our lives with the incredible events going on in our friends’ lives, and we find ourselves depressed because we don’t have a perfect life like our friends seem to have.
We compare our actual insides to another person’s virtual outside. This can create discontent and ungratefulness in our lives. I’m not suggesting that we air all of our dirty laundry on Facebook. But I am reminding you that it’s dangerous to use social media as a gauge for your happiness. Joy comes from good, solid relationships beginning with your relationship with Christ. When we seek His face, we will find contentment, joy, and strength.
“Glory in his holy name. Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength. Seek his face always” (Psalm 105:3-5).