Romans 12:15 commands us to, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." Take note- that is a command, not a suggestion.
Back in the old days, before the internet allowed us access to the minute moments of people's lives, I did not really have much of an issue with this verse. If I heard of a tragic situation, I prayed. If I heard of a new engagement, I felt joy. The only time I really struggled was Christmas letter season, when the amazing achievement records came to my door dressed up in red and green.
But now, in the era of Facebook?
When I see the amazing academic achievements of my friends' kids as my child struggles in school, do I rejoice? Or am I jealous?
As I see a younger friend achieve a goal that has eluded me for decades, do I rejoice? Or am I jealous?
As I see pictures or read statuses of trips taken or adventures experienced or luxuries purchased or awards received…..do I rejoice then? Or am I jealous?
Personally I have had many pictures of joy to post lately. I have had weddings and engagements and a precious new grandbaby. It is an exciting season for our family and I love that I can share that with friends and family who are too far away to share it with us in person.
I haven’t shared any of our joys to make anyone jealous. But let me also say, not one of those pictures were a “full disclosure” document.
Because what I haven’t posted are pictures of the moments when I was literally nauseated because there were so many items on my “To Do” list and so few minutes on my watch.
I haven’t posted any whinings and complainings of the stretch all these events have placed on our budget.
I haven’t posted an update or a picture of myself sitting down and having a good cry when that really felt like the only productive thing I could do at the moment.
I do not post those things, not because I want to project a false impression, but rather, I don’t think that Facebook is the place for my dirty laundry or my family’s worst moments.
Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or any other social media medium are just a momentary glimpse into a highlight. They are not the depth of the reality.
So, YES, let us rejoice with each other’s best moments. But let’s remember to pray for each other’s hidden moments and base realities and secret struggles.
Stop being jealous of someone's Facebook post. We are all in need of Savior- no matter what our posts say.