Written by Grace Harman

The way Jesus sought after the hearts of the people rather than the approval of the people teaches us an intense, humbling lesson about the world we currently live in.  

I am completely enamoured by the idea of how we use social media and technology. It has advanced in such a way that you can make yourself appear as the person you want to be, even if that means you’re being dishonest. We are so surrounded by edited photographic biographies written as a means of telling your followers your achievements. And numbers, lots and lots of numbers.  

So, how do we take something as advanced as technology and connect it to our spiritual walk with our greatest companion, Jesus Christ?  

Easy. Numbers. 

I am so in love with Him because He had twelve followers. (Eleven, if you want to get technical.) Yet, He changed so many lives, healed so many people and spoke with so much zeal that we’re told in John 21:25, “If every one of them were written down, even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  

Here’s the connection. Jesus didn’t grasp onto a social status or support from the crowd. Rather, He walked into a crowd with open arms, asking them to come to Him. He cared for the hurting, homeless, and dirty, healing them with the touch of His hand. I believe in the complete divinity of Jesus, and I believe He saw crowds knowing that there were some who would walk away with a scowl. Yet, that never stopped Him.  

We need to enter into a place where we’re praying for that same strength. Often we will only post photos that we know will be received well. We will only send out a tweet if we know it will be reposted. We will pretend to like stuff that we don’t even really like. For approval. For numbers.  

I want to challenge you today to take your social following—as little or as grand as it may be— and use it to be genuine. Use it to love people. Use it to glorify your Father. Use it as a means to do what Jesus did in the crowds: serve. Uncover the perfect face you’ve put on and be real.  

There is such an immense difference between being a Crowd Pleaser and a Crowd Server. Crowd pleasers will say or do anything to gain the approval or respect of those in their lives. But crowd servers make waves.  

They will love someone who is remarkably hard to love. They will make someone believe in the purpose of life. They will stand unconcerned if what they say challenges someone because they are seeing the big picture.  

They are looking past ground level-approval and seeing the eternal stuff that actually matters, seeing people as deeply loved sons and daughters rather than a photograph of an attractive person. When God starts to change the way you see His people, trust me, your world shakes and sings and dances in a way it never has before.  

All the backlash and all the small concerns of today that seem to bother us so much will always fade away. The Lord is our eternal hope and strength. Our lives are vastly more important and interesting than we give the gift credit for.  

Love others when it’s hard. Be yourself. Don’t paint a picture of yourself to match everyone else’s.  

There’s our connection.