Your closest friends are sometimes the most convicting, but even when it is playful it can be exactly what you need. After posting on instagram, I found myself continually going back to my app not just to check my likes but I really wanted to check who likes me. This is why social media can be a toxic combination of pleasure and poison. What was made for social can become used for self-esteem.
I was convicted when my friend pointed out to me how frequently I check social to see how many likes I got. Little does she know that I do that way more than she might think. Pretty often I scroll when I am feeling lonely and end up looking at pictures of myself or the things that I have done hoping to find out that the people who hit “like” actually care. But it doesn’t end there. Sometimes with photography I doubt myself. A lot of times actually. It seems like no matter how many times people try to encourage me with photography, I still go back to my worst moments. It’s crazy how we try to create our future but can find ourselves haunted by our past. We go to our past mistakes, our past failures, but maybe once in a while we will go to our biggest accomplishments. Yet what we do right really can’t hold its own against what we do wrong. I find so often this I live in the past and that prevents me from moving forward, but what I love about Jesus is that he lives in the future and never wants you to look back at your past.
When I look at my past I feel like a reject. I feel like I do not deserve what I own nor the opportunities. But that is why I always go to this story that brings me hope. In Matthew 4, Jesus saw two brothers fishing at the Sea of Galilee and to be honest with you Jesus made evangelism look easy. I love how he does it actually. He simply says the words that these boys needed to hear. He doesn’t quote Scripture but he speaks to them in a language that they can understand.
We look at this text in Matthew 4:19 and we just see:
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 4:19 ESV
On the surface it looks so simple, but we find so much more when we look deeper. In ancient Jewish culture, rabbis would go to the youth when they were still about 6 to 9 years old and they would test the boys to see who is capable of becoming a rabbi, or teacher of the law. The rabbis would go to the ones they believed in and the rabbis would tell them, “Follow me”, so they could teach the boys their ways. Sadly, those who were rejected were forced to live a life where they would have to work hard to provide for themselves and their families. Commonly, the rejects became fishermen which are the boys who we find in this story. I love the fact that Jesus, the rabbi of rabbis, comes up to these boys face to face and tells them how much he believes in them simply by telling them “follow me” because with those words he tells them they are worthy.
I love the fact that not only does he make them disciples, but he speaks to them of their future. Jesus lets them know they will be “fishers of men”. What is more important is the promise that He has for them when he says “I will make you…” When I read this story I see that Jesus is willing to change anyone, even those who most people might look over. I have a good idea that Jesus sees something that we don’t. Much like the disciples, I sometimes feel like I am incapable but I am reminded that God can see the best in everyone. We tend to focus on our capacity, but God is trying to show us our capability.
If you ever find yourself lost in your own failures, I hope this story of Jesus will encourage you. Whether you are a believer or not, He believes in you. Maybe you failed before or maybe you can’t seem to find out what you do right. Jesus believes in you for a reason and that is because He knows what you can become. He makes a promise not just to the disciples but to all of us. He makes a promise to bring you to a better future. We can live a better future when we take perspective of His promise.