5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
Grace all the way
Wed May 15, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
How to be on mission in the city
Wed May 15, 2013
by Stephen Um
Are You Pinning to the Glory of God?
The Good Pinterest Life
The world of Pinterest is an art heaven. Ideas, photos, projects, and creations galore invite you to enter and explore. We peruse the art, drool over the recipes, marvel at handmade gifts, and get inspired by mid-century modern designs.
Beauty is from God because he himself is beautiful. Made in his image, we all long for beauty. A room redecorated with skill and imagination draws us in. As we engage in our culture, we often notice excellence, creativity and beauty all around.
Pinning favorites on Pinterest can be a form of worship. It’s like an art museum displaying what’s in our hearts, what we think is most beautiful.
Sometimes life online seems more fun and beautiful than the life we are in.
At first, Pinterest is blissful. It paints a picture of the “good life,” where our food pantries and closets are perfectly organized and our kids are served the most exciting, healthy, and delicious foods.
All of this can be inspiring and helpful as long as we simply enjoy the art and use it as a resource to generate ideas for reasonable projects to improve our homes and serve our families well. But endless fashion photos and crocheted masterpieces can also generate mile-long lists of “someday” projects that we can feel guilty for never completing. Before long, we’ve created an alternate world for our “best self,” an ideal we’ll never live up to.
When We Covet Creativity
Like the Proverbs 31 gal, we are slightly inspired, but more often we are deeply intimidated. Overwhelmed with what is lacking in ourselves, we allow the whispers of condemnation to enter into our minds. As with Pinterest, what could inspire worshipful expression and gratitude drifts from enjoyment to envy. Rather than simple gratitude for beauty, we are tempted to lust for more.
When our hearts are content, we can enjoy creating beauty, appreciating new and fun ideas, and undertaking creative projects without them taking over our lives. A heart like this can enjoy Pinterest with joy and without the pressure to keep up. We can save that new project idea for the right time, and in the meantime feel satisfied. If nothing else, we’ve had fun appreciating someone else’s creativity.
God is the author of art, and his masterpieces are breathtaking.
When are hearts are covetous, rather than content, we see someone else’s home, food, and clothes and feel shame and jealousy for what is lacking in our own selves and lives. Comparison and bitterness fuel the heart to copycat and catch up. We might even believe the lie that people’s judgments of our home, fashion, meals, or appearance matter. If only we could do “that” project, someone will be impressed. It also presents yet another form for escape from our individual realities. Sometimes life online seems more fun and beautiful than the life we are in.
I have heard some women say that they feel horrible for not making gourmet dinners or handmade birthday party invitations that they see online. And, others feel depressed when they compare their clothes or living rooms to those of the Pinterest princesses. For me, I have felt that sneaky whisper of covetousness when a photo captures my decorating dreams.
Are you trying to live up to some man-made or self-made standard? We have to fight to remember who we are in Christ when these temptations certainly come.
“Strength and Dignity Are Her Clothing”
Pinterest is new and exciting, but the heart experiences are as old as the hills. Imagine those ancient women who read Proverbs 31 or Titus 2, or any other biblical woman description. Surely their hearts were tempted to envy too and to believe lies about who they were. I can just hear the women saying, “That Proverbs 31 lady, she is impossible. I’ll never be like her.” We might as well say, “That Pinterest lady. My home will never be as beautiful or as organized.” We can, because of grace, fight temptation and not give in to envy and covetousness when we see beauty. God lovingly reminds us that we are not defined by appearances but by his Son, which is far more glorious. The Spirit prompts gratitude and worship as we enjoy Jesus.
An Invitation to Enjoy the Art and Beauty of God
God is the author of art, and his masterpieces are breathtaking. All art invites us to worship Christ. From enjoying nature to music, we stand in awe of his creation. Created by him, we create beauty with him. We are given beauty all around us to enjoy and inspire us to see him in it. Let’s put away envy and instead enjoy his beauty.