Before I begin, I want to clarify before you continue reading: Instagram is NOT inherently bad. Really I believe it can be used in amazing ways! We live in a time where we can be connected to so many people where we otherwise wouldn’t be able to! How stinkin’ cool is that?! We can find and form communities. We can encourage and be encouraged. We can use our voices to change lives. I believe Instagram can be a big blessing to us as disciples, and that we can use it to share truth with people who wouldn’t normally hear it! Seriously, what a gift, isn’t it?
With that being said, Instagram cannot replace our Bibles.
I can easily fall into the trap of replacing genuine time in God’s Word with scrolling through Instagram looking for encouragement. Maybe that’s you too. For the last few months this has been a continual struggle for me. I say “Instagram cannot replace our Bibles” because I know firsthand what happens when we allow it to be our voice of reasoning, our compass, and our source of encouragement. When we go to Instagram, or really any other “good thing”, before going to God Himself, we are in danger of creating idols. Even too much of a good thing can become very bad, very quickly.
I get it, sometimes it’s easier to tap open your Instagram app than it is to try to understand the 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Geesh. On Instagram it’s easy to find people who are like-minded to us. We can see ourselves in similar life stages and struggling through the same things.
In the Word it takes some extra time and effort to find this same connection at first. I don’t know, maybe it’s the lack of pictures in our adult Bibles, or maybe it’s the culture differences? I know for a fact that if we really dig into the words, one step at a time, we will find people like us struggling in similar areas just trying to stay afloat in this thing we call life.
Friends, Paul had a “thorn” in his side (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Martha was busy being busy and distracted instead of hearing what Jesus had to teach her (Luke 10:38-42). Esther lived among women who were all battling to be the most valued (Esther 2-5). Peter walked on water then found himself sinking in fear (Matthew 14:22-33). Jonah wanted so badly to avoid where God was calling him that he got swallowed by a fish (Jonah 1-4), now hopefully we aren’t getting swallowed by large fish, but there are many of us who feel called somewhere we would never choose to go and we find ourselves avoiding it when we know darn-right where we are supposed to go.
Do you see what I mean? These people’s’ stories are not unlike our own. They all struggled. They wondered what God was doing. They doubted, probably a lot. But most importantly, they loved God and like Paul says they “fought the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7-8)”.
The bible is literally “God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16)”. It is God’s word to us, and is unwavering. This means God’s word does not change, and neither does human nature. The words found in it are still relevant to us 21st-centuryers.
Going to the Word is important because there are so many false teachers out there, wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) and it’s easy to follow what these wolves say because it can seem “right” and even biblical if not tested with scripture. If you are not going straight to the source of truth, how would you know what you are being told is not true?
In all of the Bible, God’s complete love is stringed throughout, and that is ultimately what will draw us to Him and to love Him in return.
His word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), and provides all the direction we could ever need. It equips us, directs us, and grounds us.
No matter what good things you can find in books, blogs, Instagram feeds, beautiful quotes, etc. NONE of these things can satisfy us like the Word of God. There is a reason He gave us these words. We don’t need to understand them all at once. It’s a book we can spend a lifetime in, and still have questions to ask Jesus when we get to Heaven. That’s part of what I love about it – it’s a well that never runs dry (Isaiah 58:11).
Let’s appreciate Instagram for what it is: an amazing tool that can be used to create community and to encourage deeply, but let’s not allow it to become or to replace the Word itself.
For all my days, I will strive to place God above ALL else in my life. Will you join me?