Oh, teenage girl, my heart is breaking as I scroll through your Instagram and see your Snapchat stories. I see that picture that you strategically wait to post at 9pm. I’ve noticed that time that your picture was there, but then all of the sudden it wasn’t. I’ve seen you post a selfie that reveals just a little too much. I see you keeping track of your likes, and I know that you can tell me which of your pictures has the most. It all breaks my heart, really.
You post that picture at a certain time hoping to get more likes than the last picture you posted, because you think it’ll make you feel better. And it does, but just for a moment. You post revealing a little too much, hoping to get the attention of a boy (or boys), and that feels good, but just for a moment (and side note- these aren’t the type of boys you should be wanting to attract anyway). You delete that picture because your likes didn’t reach a certain number, and it leaves you feeling insecure. Goodness, my heart is burdened that you put so much weight into this stuff. You are so much more than your number of likes, and your Creator made you for so much more than the cheap image you’re posting of yourself.
The issue isn’t Instagram, or Snapchat, or any other form of social media. No, the issue is that you’re looking for satisfaction, and that you’re looking for it in all of the wrong places. I’m guilty too. I’m guilty of looking to my husband and motherhood for satisfaction. When I was your age, I looked to friends and cheerleading. We all struggle with this, so don’t let us adults fool you, but dear, sweet, teenage girl, the more quickly you realize this struggle in your life, the better.
Have you ever read about the woman at the well (John 4:1-45)? She was a lady looking for satisfaction in all of the wrong places, until she met Jesus. This woman had had five husbands, and the man she was currently living with was not her husband. Jesus knew all of this, but that does not stop Jesus from loving her. Friend, no matter your past, Jesus loves you. Because Jesus loves her, He shares with her the Truth. Jesus is the Living Water. He is the Christ. Jesus promises that anyone who drinks of the water He gives will never be thirsty again. Friend, no matter your past, Jesus is offering for you to drink of this Living Water, which is His salvation. Drink of Jesus and never be thirsty again.
An Instagram like or a Snapchat from your crush will satisfy, but only for a moment. You’ve got to start looking to Jesus, the only One who will satisfy forever. Looking to other things for satisfaction is so dangerous; it starts off small, until you’re in deeper than you realize. Jesus offers you eternal life and to free you from the bondage of sin. Accept His free gift of salvation. Daily look to Him to satisfy you, and you will never be thirsty again.
Jesus sees you, loves you, and values you, no matter how many followers you have or how long your streaks are on Snapchat. Let that sink in. The King of the universe is CRAZY about you! Use social media, but use it to share fun things with family/friends and to glorify Jesus. Don’t use it to fulfill you, because it won’t. Post a picture when it isn’t “primetime”. Don’t keep track of your likes. Offer words of encouragement/compliments to other girls in person and on social media. Don’t be afraid to post a picture that might not be your favorite. Don’t compare your life to someone else’s social media life.
In times when you’re feeling empty, unworthy, or insecure, turn to Jesus. Be in His Word daily. Memorize Scriptures that will remind you that He is enough, that He is your satisfaction, and that He values and loves you more than you’ll ever know. Surround yourself with others who are trying to seek Jesus too. Hold each other accountable. You will not regret turning away from worldly things for satisfaction and turning to Jesus.
You know what else I love about the woman at the well? She has a pretty rough past, but one encounter with Jesus, and everything is changed. After she meets Jesus, she runs into town to tell others of her encounter, and the Bible tells us that many believed because of her testimony (vs. 39). One encounter with Jesus can change your life, no matter your past. Then, Jesus can use that encounter for His glory so that others might come to believe in Him. Teenage girl, I know you’re insecure and you maybe have done some things that you’re not so proud of. Encounter Jesus. Jesus can use you for His glory no matter what insecurities you may have and no matter what may be in you past. When Satan tries to feed you the lie that God can’t use you, think of the woman at the well. Think of the many in the town that came to believe in Jesus because of her testimony. All you have to do is be bold in sharing about your encounter with Jesus, the Christ.
Sweet teenage girl, I’m praying for you. I know this is such a tough time. I know you’re trying to figure out who you are, what you’re doing, who your real friends are, and so much more. Instead of turning away from Jesus during this time, turn to Him. Fall in love with the Savior of the world, the Living God. Let your satisfaction come from Him, the Living Water, who satisfies forever. Oh, and if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here. I’ve got a special place in my heart for you and these years that you’re navigating. They’re tough, but they’re fun too, and they can be sweet times with Jesus if you seek Him.
p.s. Maybe you’re not a teenage girl seeking your satisfaction in social media. Maybe you’re looking for satisfaction in your work, grades, sports accomplishments, your children, etc. The list could go on. Then, this is for you too. This world has many things that offer us satisfaction, but it’s only temporary. Jesus is the only One who offers eternal satisfaction. Look to Him and only Him. You won’t be sorry.