We live in a world of screens and social media. Never before has the focus been so much about the outward appearance, as it is now.
This generation is consumed with image.
- What clothes they wear.
- How many likes they receive on social media.
- Who is following who and who isn't following who.
- What kind of music they listen to.
And that's just naming a few.
Jesus always went to anyone and everyone that needed hope. He didn't classify people. His disciples were a mixture of tax collectors and fishermen, etc. He didn't choose based on "status."
Here's 5 ways to stop being superficial:
1. Hang out with people who are not exactly like you.
If the only people you spend time with are just like you, you might be focused only upon image. The foundation that Jesus built was relationships founded in Him. Because Jesus loves unconditionally, we should as well. This means to simply love each person you come in contact with and treat them with honor no matter what they look like.
2. Stop classifying people based upon their appearance.
Instead of judging their style silently, walk up and introduce yourself. Ask questions and get to know them. Look at people through the eyes of Christ, not the lens of whether they have a "coolness factor." By the way, trying to be cool is a moving target. What is "cool" today will probably not be "cool" tomorrow. Be the person that Jesus made you to become. Don't try to be someone else, because you are shaped specifically by God for a purpose.
3. Be humble and teachable.
We can learn from anyone at any time of our lives. "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). When we act as if we know it all, it releases a wall of separation between us and others. Humility creates an inviting relationship that people are drawn to. Ask questions of others and learn from them. Humble people are the easiest people to grow closer to in friendship.
4. Encourage instead of compare.
Look for ways to lift up others with your words. Encouragement kills jealousy in our hearts. Instead of looking at social media with jealousy based upon likes or followers, love people and celebrate with them. Comparison is the quickest way to kill your love for people. When we compare ourselves with others, nobody wins. Eventually comparison leads to jealousy, and we lose sight of encouragement because we are focused upon our inward pride.
5. Learn from the older generation.
I appreciate the generations that have gone before me. I can learn a lot from them. We can either learn by experience or by wisdom. The latter has less consequences. My mentors in my life have taught me so much and helped me avoid making some of the same mistakes. Who in your life are you learning from that is older and wiser?
Image is superficial. The unconditional love of God sees beyond the facade of the outward.