I was watching a programme today where a woman, recently widowed, found that her husband had kept all the photos that she had told him to throw out because she didn’t like the way that she looked. This, of course, was in the good old days where took a photo and had to wait for it to be developed, no chance to keep retaking it, and editing it, the only option was to keep it or to throw it away.
As we look this week at public image, there are two things I want to focus on. I’m not going to go into the e-safety stuff… but to think about how we are viewed and how we can have a positive impact.
Our thought for the week comes from Germany Kent who says
“You are responsible for everything you post and everything you post will be a reflection of you”
We are the only ones who have responsibility for the things that are posted either by us, or mentioning us. What does your profile say about you? Are you hiding behind a constant filter, is there a lot of negativity, or is it positive and encouraging?
What impression do you get of other people from their social media profile and posting? What would people say about you? I am aware of people who have deleted friends because of the negativity of their posts… but we also have to remember that so often employers look at our public image as well.
This brings me on to our second point. Our profile is a reflection of us and Christians believe we are a reflection of God. Is this reflected in our public image? When Paul was writing to the Ephesians he wrote
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
How can we use our public image, whether online or in person, to encourage others and build them up? It may be making a choice only to share the positive, or if it is negative then to approach it with care and practicality as opposed to just whinging. But most importantly do not use public places, online or physical, to belittle, or show anger at other people. A lot of the time it is not necessary, and is most definitely not helpful. By all means talk through concerns with others, and speak to the person involved but in a private and safe setting. This verse doesn’t suggest that we have to get along with everyone but that we should approach conflict with care, and use our words wisely.
Challenge: think about your public image, and if there is anything you need to change.
Prayer Father God, thank you that we are able to communicate in so many different ways, and that we are a reflection of You. Help us to communicate so that we are a reflection of the love that you have for us. Amen