Validation has become the lifeblood of our social media infested society. Almost everyone has the thirst. It is as if we can not live without a constant reminder from an outside source that we are meeting society’s high standards of ideal living. The problem with this is more often than not we are forgetting that in order to receive validation we must first give it.
I am guilty of passing over a Facebook friend’s impressive post merely because I am too dismissive to stop and validate them. Imagine if I took the time to celebrate every victory I came across. I mean truly feel excited for my neighbor’s accomplishment, leaving out envy and guilt. I think I would feel better about life and about myself. Promoting others is a profitable business. Once you give out validation, validation is given back to you and then some.
I wonder why we crave validation? Maybe God instilled it in us so we would ideally seek out his validation? Or are we groomed as we grow into adulthood maybe because the only way we truly know if we are succeeding is when we hear it out loud? Or has social media brought on this plague? I am leaning towards the latter. In an age where are all shackled to a device waiting to learn how many likes or approvals we have “earned”, it makes sense that we are slaves to validation. How do we break free? Not easily, I assure you. Firstly, as scripture reminds us, we preferably should be seeking out God’s approval and his approval only. Taking some time to examine our faith and relationship could go a long ways towards ridding us of our validation appetite. Next, praising successes with no expectation of a return could train us to be less self-absorbed and more loving with others. Finally, ask ourselves why we need validation in the first place. We walk on this Earth on our own path and constantly looking over at the contestant next to us will only lead you and I astray and make us lose our focus. When we focus on what is most important to us, we have no time to be envious or to have feelings of inadequacy brought on by comparison. Hopefully pleasing our Lord is of utmost importance to you and I, so we have step one covered in step three as well.
So when we are scrolling today let’s compliment someone. Let’s pray for someone. Let’s celebrate someone. We are all God’s perfectly imperfect children, unique in our very own way. I am the best me you will ever meet, as you are the absolute best you I will ever meet.
Feature image: Pawel Kuczynski