When Memes Lie
BY: CRYSTAL CHARLEY
Social media is flooded with pictures that include pithy statements called memes. We are constantly liking and reposting them. However, many of us like and repost them without critically thinking through them. It’s easy to like or share posts that co-sign our emotions at the moment, but it’s important to seriously think through what we endorse. Many of the memes we share conflict with the scriptures we claim to believe. For example…
While it sounds good, is it really true that we only need ourselves? The bible stresses the importance of community. Community involves more people than “me, myself, and I.” God says in Genesis that it is not good for man to be alone (this doesn’t solely refer to marriage). We need people. As the saying goes, “everyone needs somebody, sometime.” You cannot be productive in life by constantly isolating yourself.
In other words, if you don't appreciate me, then I don't need you. So my need for you is only based on your need for me? Unfortunately, that is a conditional relationship. Is this the way of life? Doesn’t that seem a bit self-seeking? I know some may be thinking, “Well, it depends on the relationship level”. Let me ask you this, does unconditional love depend on the relationship “level”? Can I choose to appreciate others without it being reciprocated? A conditional relationship is like a contract; as soon as someone is not meeting our terms, we write them off. How can we love others as Christ has loved us if we have this mentality?
There are tons of memes that promote selfishness and conditional love, but I think you get the point. Our culture promotes selfishness, and it is not surprising that our memes do, too. However, the bible teaches selflessness. Philippians 2:1-5 shows the attitude of selflessness and then commands us to do away with behavior that is in opposition to that state of mind… the mind of Christ. Ephesians 4: 2-3; 32 commands us to walk with all humility, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity, being kind and forgiving. The fight for unity is the battle of building community, for which many are not willing to strive.
Many elements face us. Galatians 5:19-20 mentions most of them, but selfishness is the center of it all. Combating our selfishness requires humility. Humility requires a truthful view about ourselves in relation to God (Romans 12:3). However, we often view ourselves in relation to our feelings, others, what’s around us, or our own ego. Humility seeks to grow and restore relationship where selfishness divides.
So, to my sisters and brothers, the next time you see or even want to post this:
Ask yourself… What is the motive? What is the root? What does this say about me? Could it be that I’m building a destructive wall of isolation? Am I afraid, hurt, seeking revenge, lonely, regretful, or jealous? Make sure what you’re sharing, posting or reposting honestly speaks to your BIBLICAL convictions and is NOT the result of you being “in your feelings.”
Crystal Charley is a ministry student and servant leader. She is currently at student at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is devoted to the work of the ministry as a teacher, advisor, and disciple maker in her local church and community. She will marry her best friend Alex West in December. Crystal is currently developing Redeemed Creation (birthed from Galatians 2:20), a ministry that desires to capture and redeem women and children to a life of restoration in Christ.