About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. Jennifer,
    Let me start by affirming that you are an awesome artist. I love your print that I have in my house!! You make God’s word come alive with color and design…what a gift!!

    Oh how social media can be my worst enemy. It IS truly hard to compare your life to someone else’s “highlight reel”. I have to think about myself and what I put out there…it’s not the trials, the struggles, the failures, the pain and heartbreak…no, it’s the prettied up version. So why do I think that what others portray is their daily reality?? The comparison game is ALWAYS a lose-lose.

    Like you said…I agree…I admire those who are persevering through struggles. I can have compassion on those whose lives are unglued right now. I can empathize with those going through hardship. Envy brings out the worst in us, but seeing people as they really are brings out (or so it should) the best of us (kindness, gentleness, love). As I walk around my neighborhood I know that behind every door there is a story and chances are it’s not a “highlight reel” of pure happiness and abundance overflowing. Thanks for helping us “get real”. Good stuff!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev… thank you so much for your kind encouragement of my art! That means so much to me that I can share His love with others in this way!

      Oh you are so right… the comparison gave is always a lose-lose. I always appreciate your thoughts on my posts, thank you for faithfully sharing them!

  2. I was just thinking about this as I drove home in the dark from my workout! I have this image of social media as a big party where everyone is talking at the same time, but everyone is listening as well. I see some who scream and yell across the crowd belittling, condescending, rude, saying things they’d never say face to face. It truly is awful. Thank you for reminding us of the value of kindness. There is always a deeper story going on that we don’t see.

  3. There’s a proverb: Blessed is he who is kind. It’s in the OT (14:21), but can’t you just hear it coming from the mouth of Jesus on the side of a mountain? Some truths are so simple and basic – and we miss them in our every day. Thanks for bringing the scope in close with this reminder that I am called to a life of kindness.

  4. Jennifer, I heard the quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” My kids know I expect kindness at the dinner table because it can turn into a little battlefield. Close proximity, smacking, dirty faces, and sticky fingers creates a place for judging table manners. Sure we want to practice proper table etiquette, but I could see My children watching for each other’s mistakes so they could be called out. Finally, one day, fed up with name calling and dirty looks I declared, “Kindess at the table!” Really, Kindess everywhere.

    • LaToya, I am grateful that you posted that quote-I love it too 🙂 I put it on my computer at work to have a place to breathe in the Holy Spirit before speaking, to help any “soul amnesia” when I feel negatively (when I remember to look at it :P) That is awesome-“Kindness everywhere 🙂

  5. I loved this post and those two words are so powerful for me. I wanted to make sure I did not make a mistake, I posted just the “be kind” picture on my facebook as a challenge to my friends. I don’t post often on facebook. I did not give you credit for the photo. I am sorry and will take it down if it is not the proper protocol.

    • It is always nice to just mention or tag the source on facebook. A simple (in)courage or StudioJRU is fine. We do love and appreciate you spreading the word and sharing, Melanie! Thank you!

  6. What a great post! The thoughtlessly written comments and criticisms I see in social media are so upsetting. I feel if we could all strive to put kindness first in our lives, or as my mother always said ” before you speak, think how the words would make you feel” the world would be a better place. I write a blog about children’s books and I’m always striving to find those about kindness. I’m happy to say that many authors are now using this theme in their books and because of that, hopefully our little ones can learn the importance of being kind. – Susan

  7. I may be one of the only ones, but I actually share my pain and my junk on social media too. I find people appreciate me when I am more real and raw than just fluff. We have been homeless for quite awhile now and youd never know it to look at us, but the shame was so heavy until we shared our struggles and now we have an army praying for us specifically. Personally, I would not find social media enjoyable if I had to hide so much of myself.

    • It is important to share and reach out for help and prayers, Shannon. Many people want to hide that side and therefore we just don’t know. But I always appreciate someone sharing their truth and I am then more than happy to pray for them! Grateful to hear you have an army praying for you now. I am praying too!

  8. Jennifer, I agree. It breaks my hurt when I read careless comments and criticisms left by others. But we can choose differently. We can choose a filter of kindness and bring encouragement to others. Thank you for this reminder. : )

  9. It’s why I hesitated to do anything. I didn’t fool with Facebook because I knew people who were just arguing. I wasn’t interested in chat rooms. People are cruel and even more so from anonimity. Yet, Jesus got me on Pinterest. I have a blog, actually three. I pray for people, have connected with a girl who is starting out in ministry. I have Twitter! All in all I have had good responses and results and it is my prayer to continue blessing others. I have seen the comments, don’t give up on encouraging each other though. I have had to delete a couple, I wrote back to one lady, thanking her for commenting, and explaining that particular verse was a promise for believers, she didn’t respond.

  10. I’m not sure I’m going to make it through my loss, grief and brokenness. I made big mistakes from being panic-stricken and lost imy future, friends, church and have watched it all being given instead to soemeone else (including church friends) I thought I was ok and it was now long gone and in the past but it’s not. Every day, I,m reminded of my utter worthlessness and failure. How do you hold on when there is nothing there? A Christian friend recently said to me “God is really punishing you” It didn’t help. I can’t shake this and tired of feeling and fighting it.

    • I am so sorry for what you are going through, Anon. You are not worthless. He created you. He loves you so much and He will be your strength. Give it up to Him, day by day. May I offer this scripture to hold on to… “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-12

    • Anon,

      You are NOT worthless!!! He doesn’t make junk or mistakes. You are going through some trials. God never promised us a rosy life down here. He isn’t punishing you!!! You are loved by Him and us!!!!! Pray daily to God. Ask Him to help heal you and b ring about some change. He may be molding you into the character He wants you to be!! I will pray daily for you. May you receive God’s strength, courage to endure these trials! I pray for peace to surround you and permeate your soul!

      Blessings 🙂

    • Anon, my heart breaks with you over this place in your life. I understand feeling like the Lord punishes us as I felt that way for many years, but He never punishes us for there is no love in punishment, only fear (1 John 4:18). His mercy is a deep ocean overflowing from the heart of Jesus for us from His wounds, born out from His love for us that we can never be separated from (Divine Mercy, St. Faustina). Let go of that lie from the evil one-you are His child whom He longs to lavish His love on. Let Him near Anon, and He will draw near to you for He is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit (Ps 34:18). Let His truth replace the lies, forgiveness healing your precious soul, standing firm in these trial, waiting for His deliverance. Pray His truth in the psalms-they are such balm (ps 23, 40, 41). Praying hard for you, Anon, for His courage, comfort, and love to enfold you and hold you 🙂

    • This was posted by Alice and I wanted to be sure you saw it, Anon.

      “Be kind” caught my attention when it appeared in my email this morning…so thank you! I am not on Facebook and I don’t usually read comments to articles or blogs, but being kind is such a simple concept and much needed across the globe I wanted to learn what others thought about it. It is encouraging to know that others are making it a priority in their lives to be kind. It made me so sad, however, to read that someone felt worthless. I have always struggled with self-esteem so it breaks my heart to think of another person suffering so much that she feels worthless. I cannot tell someone else how to feel, but I will offer, if I may, that you are certainly not worthless. Your comment shows what a kind, caring and sensitive person you are. Everyday I ask God to help me be a better person, to be the person He wants me to be, to show me how to be that person…for today I will believe that I was drawn to post this comment to offer encouragement to a woman I don’t know other than she feels worthless…in my eyes you are far from worthless because you have given me an opportunity to be kind and that is worth so very much to me. I don’t know you but I will be thinking of you as I say my prayers…be well.

      • I can’t thank you all enough for your kindness and for your prayers. It means so much. Such comfort in reading your messages.x

  11. Jennifer,

    I’m not much on social media. I have to agree about being so careful with what you post. Firstly what you post can possibly hurt someone. Secondly your post says things about you-the kind of person you are. I am always careful how I reply on Facebook. Only want a positive opinion of myself and to show God to this world. No snarky replies from me!! I am also careful what I post about on Facebook and other social media. Somethings should remain private and with a few people knowing the details. The whole world doesn’t need to know about a fight I had or what family issues I’m going through.

    Sometimes I get upset with people over things said or done. Later God will gently remind me that the person may have had a bad day, or be going through some struggle. I am a genuine encourager and want everyone to strengthen people by the words I use!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Bless you, Beth, for being such a genuine encourager. Bless you for intentionally strengthening people by your words. I can only imagine how showing God to this world makes Him so happy!

  12. This is such a good post… I try to be careful about what I publicly share on Facebook and although I’m not ashamed of having a Christian faith I try to keep things general as opposed to people trying to think I’m shoving religion in their face. I think our interactions on social media can say a lot about our character and differentiate us from the rest of the world. That being said I’ve seen so many relationships destroyed by social media and that trend doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It seems so easy to judge from behind a keyboard then it would be to somebody’s face and I feel that often times people don’t think before they type something up and post it and they have no idea the effect that I could have on somebody’s life. All of that being said I did post this particular one on my Facebook for everyone to see that is in my friends list because I didn’t think it was pushing religion in anyway yet it hits on a very important topic that everyone needs to read about. I know for myself that social media has caused a lot of inner turmoil and comparison and thinking I’m not doing enough and not measuring up and wondering why other people’s husbands go on and on about their wives on Facebook and my never says anything… It’s a very dangerous place to get in when you start thinking about these things in your head. Such a great article… I feel like you really hit this issue head-on. Thank you

    • Thank you so much, Tracey, for your encouragement! I think you are right, most people don’t think before they type and post. They have no idea what their words can do. And I am sure we all play that comparison game way too much, I know I can get sucked into it! Thank you for feeling this was important enough to share! I appreciate that!

  13. “Be kind” caught my attention when it appeared in my email this morning…so thank you! I am not on Facebook and I don’t usually read comments to articles or blogs, but being kind is such a simple concept and much needed across the globe I wanted to learn what others thought about it. It is encouraging to know that others are making it a priority in their lives to be kind. It made me so sad, however, to read that someone felt worthless. I have always struggled with self-esteem so it breaks my heart to think of another person suffering so much that she feels worthless. I cannot tell someone else how to feel, but I will offer, if I may, that you are certainly not worthless. Your comment shows what a kind, caring and sensitive person you are. Everyday I ask God to help me be a better person, to be the person He wants me to be, to show me how to be that person…for today I will believe that I was drawn to post this comment to offer encouragement to a woman I don’t know other than she feels worthless…in my eyes you are far from worthless because you have given me an opportunity to be kind and that is worth so very much to me. I don’t know you but I will be thinking of you as I say my prayers…be well.

  14. What a wonderful reminder. Be kind. Just imagine if we were all kind? What a different world this would be. We would be encouraging and helping and building up and listening to one another.

  15. So well expressed my friend. I am inspired to speak life often. Even when it’s a comment on social media. Thank you for being an encourager for my heart. Xoxo