“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you. - Matthew 6:1-4
Do you ever feel alone or invisible? Social Media keeps us reaching for instant satisfaction and attention. All we have to do is get on Instagram, post a picture and we are instantly getting likes and comments. However, I’d say a lot of people are missing out on real interaction with real people. We have a lot of followers on Instagram or friends on Facebook, but it’s hard for us to make friends in real life. It’s easy to feel unseen, unnoticed, and invisible, in a world that is more connected than ever. I know how it feels to feel alone, even when you are surrounded by people. What if there was a way to feel free from needing the attention of other people? Good news, there is. You don’t have to keep striving to make sure you are seen by other people because you are seen by the one who matters most, the creator of the world, God.
He sees every part of you, your life, your past, your present, and your future. More than that he has written your story. No need to seek approval from people, God already has all of the joy and acceptance you need. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that easy though. Instead of going to God to be filled up with his joy, we like to get the instant gratification from other people, social media, a drink, a relationship. Fill in the blank.
When I was a young, energetic little girl I remember wanting to have so many friends. However, I remember learning at a young age that not everybody is kind and not everybody is going to be nice to you. There were moments growing up, specifically in school where I felt invisible. I didn’t think anyone liked me or wanted to be my friend at all. You could easily read this and feel some kind of sad but going through this made me a very independent, strong person. The really sad thing is that all of us didn’t just struggle with fitting in growing up, we struggle with that now. We never want to feel “FOMO” (Fear of missing out). We hate the idea of our friends leaving us out of things, regardless if we can make it or not. One of my very best friends, Jordan, she knows me so well it’s scary sometimes. She understands that even if I can’t make it to something, I still like to be invited. It could be an event that she is planning halfway across the world and she knows to at least mention it or talk to me about it because I love to be involved in the life of the people I love. I love the feeling of inclusion and I strive to practice that every single day. Being someone who knows what it feels like to be left out, I try to invite everyone in. Even though we can visible see everything single picture of anyone we want on Facebook, Instagram, and you name it, that doesn’t cure the rapidly spreading disease of loneliness. Why are we so lonely? Why are YOU so lonely? Why do you feel invisible some days more than others?
Let me give you some honest advice. You cannot fill your empty heart with temporary junk and hope to thrive off of it. In other words, when we feel lonely or invisible we tend to jump right on social media or to the first person who is going to make us feel important. We then try to fill up our souls with likes, comments, attention and for a moment it feels great. Everyone is noticing us, they are calling us pretty and powerful and all is right in the world until the app closes, then the phones turned off. People move on to cheer on the next person or try to pull some attention to themselves. You are never going to feel full from that. It’s a social media high that many of us are actively addicted to, and we don’t even recognize our condition. This isn’t just for those addicted to social media this is for anyone who is going elsewhere to feed their empty soul and fill that void that lives with them. Some people go to relationships, sex, or porn. Others reach for friends, clothes, and vanity. Whereas others pursue education, power, or titles. Friend, whatever you chase to make you feel seen, it’s never going to give you what you need. Anything you are trying to get love, joy or peace from can only give you so much before it fades away. Our God has an eternal, never-ending resource of love, grace, peace, mercy, acceptance, understanding, wisdom, self-control, and he wants to give all of it to you. The problem is that we expect God to give us what we don’t even take time to ask for. Have you ever truly asked God for peace? Have you searched his word to find acceptance? Do you take time to fellowship with his people to find meaning & purpose? We live in a world that is fast-paced and serves instant gratification. God isn’t always an instant gratification God. He gives us what we ask for when we seek him with all our hearts. He gives us these things in due time. But he is always ready to give you exactly want you truly need. Himself. His well never runs dry.
John 7:37-39 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
When I say a “well”, I’m physically talking about a water well. These wells were built for drinking water. Many people in Jesus’ time would go to these wells every day to get their daily water. Jesus turns this into a picture.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
We try to “drink” from things that are only going to temporarily quench our thirst, we are going to keep coming back because we are once again, thirsty. Jesus is telling this Samaritan woman that anyone who drinks his water will never thirst again. You may ask “what kind of water is that Tessah, I want some”. He’s talking about the spirit when you go to Jesus to meet all of your needs you will never go looking for something else to fill you up. He is all the “water” you’ll ever need. He is all of the love you need. He has all of the acceptance you crave. He has all of the purposes you desire. However, he isn’t just a quick fix. He is a life change. Choosing Jesus isn’t like choosing to go on a diet until you lose weight. This isn’t some “spiritual diet” that makes you feel great for 40 days and then you can go back to indulging in the “soul junk food”. No, this is a lifestyle change. A change you will never want to back down from. A change that will leave you not just feeling seen but knowing that you are loved and noticed and chosen by God. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a life change. Not one that you do all by yourself but one that God does within you. So many people are looking for something to make them feel less lonely, less empty, there is a cure. God the father. Jesus his son who died for us. And the spirit that is given to us from choosing to have a relationship with Jesus.
You are SEEN. More than that, God has always seen you. Not a day goes by he hasn’t. Choosing to live in the joy that the God who created everything, sees you and knows you by name.
Live in that peace.