Monday, March 9, 2015

The Gospel According to Pinterest

It seems I’m always one step away from being completely overwhelmed by social media. I’ve purged my Twitter and Instagram feeds and I’ve radically altered my Facebook settings. These changes have made social media more enjoyable for me. I can better process what I see. I don’t feel as if I’m dodging a barrage of words and images being hurled at me at lightning speed.

 Pinterest is another story.

When I first created my account, I thought Pinterest was a wonderful idea. All those recipes, craft projects, and tips conveniently saved for later perusal. But “later” hardly ever came, until last week. 500+ pins, all testifying to my insatiable need to be better.
  A better cook.

  A better decorator.

  A better homemaker.

  A better reader.

  A better student of the Bible.
Projects I will never tackle, recipes I will never cook, and homemade cleaning solutions I will never try - they all mocked me horrendously. Staring at all the amazing things other women are doing, I felt ashamed.
Ashamed that I’m not making my own lotion and keeping my husband from the numerous toxins lurking inside the store-bought bottle on our bathroom counter.

Ashamed that I’m not making everything from scratch and protecting my family from the myriad dangers of harmful pesticides and GMOs. Not to mention the money I could be saving.

Ashamed that I’m not making my own gifts or wrapping paper to show my friends how much I truly care about them.

 Ashamed that I’m not reading more books or participating in the latest revolutionary Bible study methods.
If I subscribe to the gospel according to my Pinterest feed, I will feel compelled to do these things in order to save myself and my family. I will, as Michael Horton writes in his book Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World, be "driven by more a desire for self-justification and self-acclaim than by being secure in Christ enough to tend now to the actual needs of others." (36)

Paul's opening chapter in his letter to the church at Ephesus is a much-needed reminder of the basis for my justification.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth— in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
(Eph. 1:3-14 NKJV, emphasis mine) 

My salvation does not rest on whether I feed my family a gluten-free, paleo, vegan, organic diet.

My salvation is not found in making my own laundry and dishwasher detergent.

My salvation is not earned by decking the halls of my home for every season.

Pinterest has given me some wonderful recipes and household tips that have blessed my family. Yet I must remember that my salvation is in Christ, and in Him alone. My salvation is not the result of my own efforts; it is because I was chosen in Him (v. 4) and accepted in Him (v. 6), because I have been redeemed in Him (v. 7) and have obtained an inheritance in Him (v. 11), because I have trusted in Him, and have been sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of that inheritance (vv.13-14).
Believers have comfort to live upon that the world knows nothing about. We have the comfort of God’s promises. And what do you think is best, to live upon earthly pleasures, or upon the promises of God? The earthly are yes and no, but the promises are yes and amen. The earthly are deceitful, but the promises are sure and faithful. The earthly feed the sense, but the promises fill the soul. He that lives upon the promises, lives by faith, and the life of faith is the only safe and true life in the world.
- Matthew Mead (source)

 I am in Christ. I have been given the right to live upon the promises of God rather than the hollow promises of the world. I have been set free from the gospel according to Pinterest.

Yes and amen.


  1. Yes! I enjoy looking over Pinterest from time to time, but too much Pinterest makes me start feeling so inadequate. I'm not sure what it's like to have enough time to make from scratch everything that enters my home, but I do think you've made the point that some of this is starting to become a new legalism of sorts. Great reminder of the Gospel here.

    1. Thanks for your kind words!

      P.S. - I don't have enough time to make everything from scratch, either. In the past I've knocked myself out trying, though.

  2. There is wisdom here, and I, too, have been encouraged by Ephesians' repetition of "in Him." Truth such as this is our link to sanity in a world that would have us jumping from one obsession to another in our efforts to "be enough" on every level.

  3. I really don't believe everyone's else is doing all those things either - they are doing the same thing I am, which is seeing something that looks interesting and bookmarking it for later perusal, much like a browser bookmark but with the opportunity to see it rather than just read its title and to share with others who might like it too. It's also a nice place to stick a Christmas wish list for the convenience of family and friends. It's a shame that something so innocuous gets warped into added layers of pressure on oneself. We have enough pressures from the world as it is.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. So true. I think I have finally beat my Pinterest addiction. You think you'll pop on for just a minute. The next thing you know an hour has past. Big time waster!

  6. This is great. I just wish it had an image so I could pin it!