If you are on any social media site, you've likely seen rally cries.You know, the "share if you agree" and "if you like this, re-post". There are other ways this shows up, too. Games also appear with "What ______ are you?". Some of those were scary since they were about "what were you in a previous life"! Born-again conservative Christians were playing around with some, as if you won't be blessed for not sharing "Do You Love Jesus" posts.Yet others want shared for causes like special colored ribbon causes, etc. Honestly, I find them annoying and a huge waste of time. I even doubt people are connecting at all because they share more memes than they share their lives with one another. But the reason I am writing about this phenomena is out of concern about an age-old group think cry for acceptance. We were created to love and be loved, to be accepted by others and our Heavenly Father. We can't expect total acceptance from people, but we can know we are lovable and acceptable to God -- even if we don't re-post those ridiculous Jesus memes.
People look for acceptance and love through many channels: unfulfilling relationships, awards at work or school, boasting an image or getting our swag on. Since the beginning of the human race, we were created for community. God didn't just create Adam and say, "It is very good." He created Eve because He said that it wasn't good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18, 21). People formed groups from families to clans to cities to nations. God was the one who initiated it. Failure to thrive is a term that came into the public eye to bring attention to the need for babies to be touched and loved. Without the loving touch of a parent or caregiver, they will not grow and eventually die. Adults are like that, too. Without love and attention from community, adults die inside. Some even die physically. We were created for love and acceptance. The use of social media can nurture, it can wound, and it can cause failure to thrive. Social media is a virtual way of filling that need, if it is handled well. What we choose to do with it determines it's value.
Our society tends to breed cruelty, indifference, one-up-manship, and shunning, instead of building caring, nurturing relationships. After all, online we can be whatever we want people to think we are and say things we would never say face-to-face to someone. When our need for love and acceptance is unmet or neglected in some way, we seek inappropriate attention. Group-think is one of those ways.
We don't need to seek others' acceptance. God already accepts us as we are. Jeremiah 31:3 says that God has loved us with an everlasting love and has drawn us to Himself. Romans 5:7-9 says that while were still sinners, Christ died for us. He didn't wait for us to shape up or improve ourselves. Jesus spent time with people no one wanted to be around, the social outcasts of His day. Certainly you aren't the scum of the earth. Even if you were, God would still love you. He loves you if you are fat or thin, beautiful or not, fit or out of shape, rich or poor, arrogant or bashful, mean or a victim of meanness.You don't need acceptance through rally cries or silly games.You already have it.
God bless you!