Relatability is Overrated

We’ve all been there: scrolling through Instagram seeing the same old posts time and time again. An artful shot of a Starbucks cup. A cart full of cute (but unnecessary) items from a Target haul. A plate full of delicious looking food with a matching caption about being stuffed beyond belief. An entire day spent binging on Netflix.

As much as I love Instagram, connecting with others, and sharing common interests, these types of posts rub me the wrong way. Obviously it’s incredibly important for human beings to form genuine connections with others and sharing common interests, habits, and struggles is totally a part of that. Real, raw social media posts are awesome. Sharing real life moments is awesome. Delving into the struggles of the Christian life is awesome.

So what’s my problem with all the Starbucks and Target posts?

I feel like at some point we confused relatability with gluttony. In my opinion, many of these posts revolve around over-indulging. This can look like buying too much, eating too much, consuming too much sugar or things that are bad for our bodies. If these posts were about having a vulnerable, honest look at these over-indulgences and calling them out for what they are, I’d be totally for it. But what I see happening is almost a celebration of gluttony.

Gluttony is one of those hidden sins that few people talk about. How many sermons have you heard about it? I literally don’t think I’ve ever heard one. Yet the Bible has some strong words to say about treating our bodies well, spending our money wisely, and avoiding over-indulgence (see verses below).

Sin should never be casual. Our sin nailed the Lord of the universe to the cross. Now, we don’t need to feel guilt or give in to self loathing. Those things are tools of the Enemy. Instead, we need to be aware of what’s going on in our hearts. God cares about how we spend our money and treat our bodies because it’s an outward sign of an inward reality.

Is the treasure of my heart God? Or do I worship the luxurious things money can buy me? All of our resources come from God. He owns them. It’s important for us to take that seriously and surrender our spending habits to Him. Now maybe that means He does want you to buy some pretty things from Target. Or have the treat of a Starbucks drink. However, it’s important to seek Him first and put the idols in our lives where they belong: underneath the authority of God.

So let’s be relate-able in a different way. Let’s share about the sin driving our over-indulgent behavior. Let’s ask God what we should be spending our money on. Let’s not compare the answer God gives us to the answer he gives someone else. Each of us is incredibly unique. God knows what each of us needs specifically. What’s good for you might not be good for her. And vise versa.

I struggle with making the treasure of my heart the Lord. I compare my home’s decor with my friends’ beautiful Instagram posts about their own home. God has not gifted me with the talent for design. And right now our money is honoring God by paying back our debts. Yet someday that might change and maybe God will want us to allocate funds for that purpose. But that’s not our season right now and that’s okay. What’s important is surrender and acceptance of God’s will. He knows what’s good for us. He loves us without measure. And He will not withhold the good things we need.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” -1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” -Philippians 3: 13-21

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:21


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