when pinterest makes you long for more {coveting}

I saw this last week on my friend Ashley's Facebook page and thought it was absolutely hilarious because I'm so there too:


Hey, if you kept your kids alive and took a shower, you're definitely a winner in my book! :D Bonus points if your kids got a shower too! {mine sure didn't!! hahaha!! :D we avoid bathing them as much as possible.... ;)}.

When my kids were really little the shower was majorly my happy place....and in 10 years of homemaking I still haven't made my own soap! ;)

I feel that sometimes we need to think of Pinterest as a one big magazine- enjoy the pretty pictures, bookmark that fun idea for later, then set it aside mentally and just be happy with the shower for now. :)

the danger of Pinterest

We have to be careful to guard our contentment, and Pinterest is such an interesting beast- so much to learn, but so much to lust after too. It's a very good place to covet freely, and in the privacy of your home or on your phone...all the time. And honestly, it's very much an acceptable sin, even in Christian circles. I think we don't even recognize what coveting is any more.

I didn't use Pinterest for a long time because it created internal anxiety in me- I wanted to do all those things I saw- all the awesome projects were such great ideas, and I thought I needed to do them too. Looking back, I was coveting what I saw- longing to do things I didn't need to do- longing to be more of this or that, or to have more. 

After a long time of avoiding it, I don't know what happened, but I could use it more as a tool.  I think it had to do with my purpose there. When I first started using it, I was just looking around for fun

When I came back to it months later, I started using it specifically for homemaking and recipe ideas to go along with the blog. I still have to be careful when I use it now, because sometimes I really want what I see- things I didn't even know I "needed" before I saw it there. Coveting becomes a slippery downhill slide that happens quickly. Oh, I like that. Oh, I want that.

Like any sin, Pinterest itself is not the problem. It's about the heart- are we coveting after what we see? Do we try to think of ways we can look more like them, or have more of this? If so, it might be time to shut it down for a while, and pray about it.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
exodus 20:17

If you think you might have a coveting problem caused by Pinterest, I would love to encourage you to:

1. pray about it.
If you feel that anxiety in your heart when you see things on Pinterest, pray hard about it. If you long for what you see, you might be coveting. Ask God to tell you- what is your heart set on? A nicer home? Being well-dressed? Having, doing, or being more of something you're not? Ask God to show you your heart in this.

2. fast from it.
While you're praying about it, maybe even consider fasting from it too. I know a lot of us have done this with Facebook, but I think it's helpful for Pinterest too. See what hold it has on your heart. See if you feel more content without it while you're asking God to lead you.

3. give it a purpose.
If and when you do return, I would strongly consider giving it a purpose. Like looking for recipes, home ideas, etc. Go through your following boards and feel free to delete boards that don't serve those purposes. If you feel you have a hard time not lusting after houses, stop looking at home boards. The same with fashion or anything else.

4. don't be afraid to turn it off.
It's better that you never know how to be a better organizer than to engage your soul in constant coveting. I promise. Discontentment is a very real problem, and for some of us it's hard to stay content when we constantly see what we don't have {even when it's under the guise of being helpful.} Please don't be afraid to cut it off. It will be so much better for your soul.

5. focus on Jesus.
Set your eyes on things above, not on things on this earth {Colossians 3:2}.  No amazing house, no perfect recipe, no list of 105 ways to decorate your Christmas tree can ever compare with Him. Give Him your heart- your full attention. If you feel like the world {which is Pinterest in a nutshell} is taking your gaze off of Him, pray hard and spend time in His word. Nothing is more important.

Don't let your heart lead you away. He is everything friends, and if you feel anything is pulling you toward sin, it's pulling you away from Him.

Jesus can conquer coveting- look to Him, and He will answer! :D He is so GOOD to us!! {and we have a heavenly home waiting for us that far exceeds the best Pinterest house. Just sayin'.}



Q: How do you feel about Pinterest? Can you enjoy the pictures without coveting or feeling tempted to do and have it all? Have you fasted from it too?

Please share your thoughts! :)

23 comments

April Stiles said...

So many times I feel that I'm not organized enough, creative enough, energetic enough, etc... To tackle what I see on Pinterest. I love pinning and checking out all of the cool projects, but I do have to be in the right frame of mind at that time. If not, it will set the tone for my mood throughout the day. Often times making me feel overwhelmed. This post is a good reminder to not lose focus on God and what truly matters.

Keri P. said...

Wow thank you so much Mandy! This ministered to me like big time! ;] I have been in such a slump of depression and anxiety lately due to my love of pinterest and my desire to be a "better blogger" . Neither of which are necessary but I love them both. I have mentioned to my hubby numerous times over the past few months how I want to do everything on pinterest all at one time and it drives my creative mind insane because I see so many things, cram my mind full of ideas, buy up everything in the thrift store [in hopes of one day doing a pinterest idea] but never do any of them.. LOL. Therefore I'm left with this massive collection of STUFF. I share your love of thrifting and sometimes I catch myself borderline hoarding on the thrift store finds, and i have to stop, evaluate, de-clutter and simplify my life & home...it seems to be a never ending cycle. [worries me at times] . I am a blogger as well, which I love but seem to be in a blah place right now. I have only been blogging for a bit less than a year, and decided to open a modest thrift boutique online....I was sooooo inspired for weeks.but then all of a sudden, the inspiration was gone.I was working day and night, around the clock, and have been for about 4 months now [missing 2 deadlines & several Monday blog posts] trying to make my blog "pretty", do everything the way i thought it was suppose to be done and make the boutique website "just right" but I look at others and want mine to look like that, and then i see another, and want it to look like that....and so on and so on....& it has stolen so much energy, time, and joy from me because I have stressed myself and not allowed God to move in it as he inspired me in the first place. I just took off running and it has become something it wasn't intended to be. It is no longer joyful and inspired by God. How quickly we can lose focus, neglect family time, and rob others and ourselves of the blessing God wants us to receive from things....when we get so wrapped up in them that they lose their purpose. Thanks so much for this eye opening reminder. God knows what we need , when we need it...:]

Becca C. said...

When I use Pinterest, I use it to track project, ideas and products that I think could be useful in my home. Nothing more, nothing less.

Ulrika said...

I think the same is true for facebook and blogging too. You find yourself wanting to be brilliant at whatever anyone else is brilliant at. But that just isn't possible. Nor were we meant to be like anybody else at all (except Jesus - but we really know being like Jesus has little to do with reindeer shaped treats ;)). We were meant to be who God created us to be - unique. What's important is not what skills you have or what you've been given in life but rather what you do with your unique gifts. So sometimes I find I need to just not read any blogs and stay away from facebook for a while. Too much temptation to compare and comparison really steals contentment like few other things...

Rayo said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post! Although, I find your timing a bit amusing. I (just this past weekend) bought the ingredients to make laundry detergent. I recently stumbled across a list (via Pinterest) of helpful ideas for around the home. One of which was homemade cleaners. I tested out a dawn dish soap/vinegar bath cleaner and loved it! It really got me thinking about how I could be a little more frugal for my family and how I could make cleaning products without harsh chemicals.



That being said, I need to get back to the topic at hand - Pinterest. I did an inventory of my "pinterest house" a while back. It had 12 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, 3 craft rooms, 5 kitchens...etc. You get the picture. While I don't think I was necessarily "coveting" these things, I did realize I was struggling with contentment. Sometimes, it's hard to differentiate between "wants" and "needs." (I wrote that on my credit card, "Want or Need?")


I appreciate your insight and your gentle warning to guard our contentment. I don't want to waste my years selling my soul to Pinterest. It can be distracting and unnecessary. I'd rather my focus be on things that matter...and in the grand scheme of things, Pinterest doesn't.

Lauren Casper said...

Oh my yes, if the kids get bathed too it's a really good day! haha I really love this post -- so much truth and great tips on how to use pinterest well. I limit my time on pinterest and only go there with a specific goal. If I'm looking for a recipe or creating an inspiration board for blog design, ect... Then I'm in and out in about 15 minutes and I don't run into problems. :) Thank you for sharing this!

Elizabeth @ Warrior Wives said...

I use Pinterest daily, and while it did make me feel inadequate early on, I recently realized that it's actually made me a much better homemaker when I actually DO the ideas that I find. For me, though, the temptation is to use Pinterest in lieu of learning those things from real people. Titus 2 tells the older women to teach the younger women to be "busy at home"; many of the ideas on Pinterest are things we would have learned in person years ago, but now we use Pinterest as a substitute for forming real relationships. Like anything, we just have to be careful and watch our hearts.

Susan said...

I have been feeling the same way Mandy. It not only makes you covet. but it makes you feel lazy or like you aren't good enough sometimes too. I have also found this with blogs that you can become jealous of how much others are getting done in their homes, and get impatient with your husband if he doesn't finish things in your home in such a fast way. Sometimes, you do need to take a break and look at the life around you and all that God has given you. Sometimes I feel like Pinterest can actually stifle creativity too because so many people are copying each other. It's fun to come up with ideas that are all your own, even if they don't look like they came our of a Martha Stewart magazine! :)

Seaweed & Raine said...

I've not signed up for Pinterest yet because I feel that it would probably lead to me spending too much time with Pinterest, and not enough with my family (My blogging tends to do that enough as it is - which is why I've not been doing much lately). I think it's a useful tool - but like anything it can become addictive and take over. Good post by the way. I'd love to share it with some of my friends, but I'm not sure how (they breathe pinterest). Thanks Mandy!
Sheree x0x

Claire said...

I hear you here. I only follow boards that are things I can either do (seriously do) or recipes I can use. No dream homes, no fancy vacations, no cool products, etc. Why ask myself to covet? No. God tells us to flea temptation not go check it out every day.

Rebekah Lewis said...

I love pinterest, but I had to stop looking at "dream homes". You are exactly right! I'm perfectly content in my home, it is a wonderful gift from God for us to live where we do. We would live in debt for the rest of our lives if we followed through with that lust and purchased our "dream home". All in good time, or better yet, God's time. :)

crystalwoolever said...

I find that sometimes I can be on Pinterest for hours without even blinking. But then I go weeks without even thinking about it. It definatly takes away from precious moments if I allow it to. I really dont want to look back on my life and be like "hey 70% of my days were spent on the computer looking at pictures". Great post, definatly another eye opener. :)

Megan said...

I wish this post could be shouted from the mountain tops and into the hearts of people who are getting depressed and down on themselves because of what they see on pinterest (or anywhere really). I was completely addicted to pinterest when i first signed on. It was so magical and shiny! But after a while I gave into the sad thoughts that I could never be and do and look like all that I'm seeing on there and I realized what I was becoming super discontent and most definitely coveting. It very easily had my eyes on the world and away from the Lord. I stepped away for a while to refocus and and figure out what really matters in life (this sounds so dramatic to me as I'm typing this, ha! I mean this is a website we're talking about! But this thing that happens is very real) I'm now back on and can honestly say it's not shiny or magical anymore. I just go on every once in a while to find very specific things like recipes, little holiday craft projects or whatever, but It's always with a purpose and not to just look around and covet all the pretty things. When it comes down to it, I truly love a simple life.

Alana @ The Bliss Diaries said...

I {heart} Pinterest, specifically for the fact that it is like one, big, never-ending magazine. I definitely go through times when I covet what I see, but then I turn my attention outward and begin to count my blessings, thanking God for each one. I think the key is to be intentional about using Pinterest as a tool. I use mine for all kinds of ideas, but I specifically stay away from decor that doesn't fit my lifestyle like large homes and fancy decor. I also think it's a bit sad to see Christisn women dedicate an entire board to lusting after men (lust kind of goes hand-in-hand with covetousness, don't you think?). I try to gather ideas that I'd actually use and I also pin things that I think my "followers" would find helpful (usually things like cleaning tips or organizing ideas).

I said all that to say this: Thank you for writing this much needed post.

http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com

becky lynn said...

I love pinterest to find ideas for a holiday or birthday party but just browse for no reason is a total time suck

Hannah said...

wow I LOVE how you so clearly communicated this issue! especially your point about not being afraid to turn it off - it is so important that we trust Jesus to be enough to meet ALL of our needs, enough to give up something we really love. oh, that our hearts would be more interested in running after Him than running after things.

Bonnie Wahl Cherry said...

So true. I signed up for Pinterest about a year ago and have done nothing with it. I looked at it one day and realized it was just one more time-suck I didn't need and one more thing to make me feel inadequate. I'm sure there are lots of great ideas on there, but for me, it's best I stay away for now.

Jacinda said...

What a great post. You are right on the money.
from your newest follower,
Jacinda
www.yellowcloth.com

Heather Wielenga Krebs said...

I absolutely love this post. We are quite apathetic to coveting in our society.

Sarah Beals said...

Love Pinterest for the visual artsy stuff, but avoid it during the week because it sucks me in and it's a huge time waster for me. (Pinterest isn't the problem...I AM the problem) The weak abstain, they say! sigh

Katie Shannon said...

I have found amazing tips, actually easy crafting projects and generally great ideas ---but that "I don't do enough" lie creeps up way more than it should from pinterest

Anne said...

I just want to let you know that I found your blog a few months ago and read many of your posts and now keep up occasionally (I am mostly focused on keeping up with my 8 mo old!:) You are an encouragement, thank you! I really appreciate your honesty and true Biblical encouragement and instruction. Blessings!

Bree Pollock said...

I like to use it for recipe ideas for my family, organization tips, gifts ideas, and I also make a lot of different things and sell them to help bring in a little extra cash for our family (since my husband is main monetary provider) Pinterest helps me with different ideas for projects to create and sell. I definitely agree that it can take over and make you want, want, want, if you let it. Thank you for the encouragement! Such a great reminder to keep focused on Jesus!! 1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world