Jon Acuff had a great post at Stuff Christians Like this month about how we covet the lives people share though social media. He gives some great conclusions about the effects of doing so. You can’t love the friends you covet and we often forget that social media gives us only a best-life-possible snapshot of someone. The post really is a great read. Check it out—if for no other reason than a real, but crazy, story of a crazed Cabbage Patch Kids employee who wouldn’t let a family put a doll in the trunk because the baby couldn’t breathe. (Trust me. It makes sense. That’s why Jon is a brilliant writer.)
Anyway, the post got me thinking about how I covet in a social media age. I fall into the same trap Jon talks about. I see people, especially those who I and others look up to, and wish I had some of their success. Yet I find myself in a reverse coveting situation, too. There are times I want people to like what I’m doing.
I think it’s an easy hole for us to fall into—especially on a professional level. We want to be accepted. We defiantly want those who we covet to covet us back. We believe that in some way THAT is what gives us success in what we’re doing. And in a mad rush to get that acceptance, we may even end up doing or saying things we don’t really believe just because we know it could help us in some way get closer to that acceptance.
It’s the same problem we face in our online and offline church worlds, too. We covet what we see down the street or from big churches that are popular online. And in an effort to get success similar to theirs, we become copycats instead of being ourselves. Coveting doesn’t make us the best churches or workers we can be.
When you really look at the churches or people you covet, and the ones you secretly wish coveted you back, you realize they have something in common. They’re unique in their own way. They’re doing something or saying something that makes people want to hear more. They’re people and organizations that have their unique voice in the world.
So, what would it look like if we did less coveting and more creative thinking? What if we challenged ourselves to stop trying so hard to get people to covet us and instead used the unique skills God’s given us to do something great for His kingdom?