Tagged Pictures

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

May 30, 2024

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Tagged Pictures

Read

Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Think

Have you ever been unexpectedly jolted by a photo of yourself on social media? There I was, casually scrolling, when suddenly I was tagged in a picture that made me wince. Notification buzzing, I zoomed in, examining every inch of the image, grappling with the sinking feeling, “Is that really what I look like?!” It was a Facebook Timehop post—a blast from the past that was confronting and raw. In our digital world of filters and flawless posts, it’s far too easy to compare ourselves—our looks, our lives, our achievements—with others.

That moment of seeing the “tagged” photo wasn’t just about physical appearance; it spiraled into deeper reflections. The temptation to mold myself into something more “acceptable” for social media approval was palpable. Like many of us, I found myself wondering: Do I too often sacrifice my time, money, and efforts trying to meet these external standards? Am I living for likes or for something more meaningful?

The answer, I found, was rooted in my faith. Romans 12:1 calls us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, “holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” This isn’t about earning God’s mercy; it’s a response to the mercy he’s already shown us. It’s a call to live differently, devoted not to the fleeting judgments of the world but to a lasting, loving commitment to God. In a world that can be merciless and unforgiving, we’re reminded of the grace available to us through Christ—who met the ultimate demands on our behalf.

Living for Christ, then, means doing things differently. It means admitting our own shortcomings and the unhealthy love for worldly approval (Jeremiah 17:9). It requires a transformation from the inside out, changing our thoughts to reflect more of Christ’s (Romans 12:2). And daily, it involves denying ourselves, taking up our crosses, and following Him (Luke 9:23). While the world shifts and changes, often leaving us feeling inadequate, let us find peace and strength in the constancy of Christ’s love and sacrifice. His approval is what truly matters, and in him, we find the grace to rise above the superficial standards of the world.

Apply

How much time do you spend on social media every day? Set specific times to log off and spend that time engaging in activities that enhance your spiritual growth. Build your identity in Christ!

Pray

Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that my purpose and value come from you and that you have made me for your glory. Guard me from comparison. Help me use the tools wisely for your honor and to spread the gospel. Give me the strength to resist the urge to seek approval from others; help me be a light to others in this dark world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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