Whose favor am I seeking?
Sometimes my line of work is crazy. I started out just wanting to write, but these days a big part of writing online is social media. People are always inquiring about your following. How many Twitter followers do you have? How many people like your Facebook page? How many likes do you get on your Instagram pictures?
At first I really didn't care about any of that stuff. I've never been one to care about popularity, but when I started getting writing gigs I realized how important it was to get a good following. A lot of sites have a certain number of views they want you to hit, and if you don't reach it you're in danger of losing your job. And, you know, it's nice when people like your pictures and comment on how cute your kids are and say how much they love your writing.
For a while I became obsessed with how many Instagram followers I had. For some reason I wanted to hit the magical number of 1000. I started wondering what I could do to gain followers. I even took a class about doubling your Instagram following. I was so excited by this idea, but by the end of the class the secret hadn't been divulged. I would have to pay a lot of money (well, a lot in my world) to take additional classes in which I could learn the secret strategy.
That's when I was done. Why did I care so much? I'm a small fish in the blogging world. I don't have thousands of hits on my blog or hundreds of shares on Facebook. And I still don't have 1000 Instagram followers. I had been getting caught up in gaining the favor of the masses and forgetting that I already have the favor of God.
This can happen to anyone, not just bloggers. My husband, for example, is a people pleaser. It's a good thing and a bad thing. He works hard to deliver a good product at work. He tries his best to help people in anything they need. He's kind and sweet. But then he forgets to draw boundaries and takes on too much because he doesn't want to tell anyone, "no." And when someone doesn't invite him to a party or compliment his work, he definitely gets his feelings hurt. He seeks the favor of people around him and sometimes forgets that he has God's favor.
It's not bad to hustle. It's not bad to have 1000+ Instagram followers. It's not even bad to try to make sure people like you. But when we become so obsessed with the idea of gaining the favor of the masses, that's a problem.
In a way it's been so freeing to let go of that pressure. If people don't like me, that's okay. God sees my innermost parts (He created them!), not just the parts I choose to share on the Internet, and He loves me just the same. I want to be the type of person who is constantly seeking God's favor and not man's. It's true when the Bible says that God's yoke is easy. I am so thankful that I don't have to worry about pleasing the world, I'd much rather please Him.