e-Literature

The Snare of the “Selfie” Spirit

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The term “selfie” is a very new word that was invented as a result of electronic media. It is the name for a picture of “me, taken by me, and sent out to others by me.” Something is propelling this drive to put my picture out to the public. Much of the “selfie” spirit is rooted in the self-centeredness of our day.
If we step back in history when photography was new, we find many families and church groups resisting having their picture taken. Gradually the family photo became acceptable even to conservative Mennonites. Today we appreciate the ability to capture today’s events for memories tomorrow. We look back with fondness at photos of our children when they were infants. Our hearts are warmed when we page through the album of our family trip to New England States. But is the “selfie spirit” as innocent as this kind of photography?
Many families today are yielding to the pressure of spending a lot of money for a family photo. The setting and pose must be just so perfect. What happened to a simple family photo in a more natural setting? What does our appearance say about us? Do we represent Christ’s kingdom clearly or do we pose in current worldly trends and fads that draw attention to us? Is it fair to conclude that our values and our heart are seen by our choices in our appearance in photographs?
We need not look very far around us and we see a culture steeped in “me” pursuits and interests. There is the entitlement mentality that feels like everyone owes me a good life even if I don’t want to work for it. Employees are tempted to focus on their benefits, bonuses, and rights. Fashion designers grow rich on our society that is willing to pay a high price to get the latest designs to get attention. The world of sports focuses on pleasures and attention for me. It offers the possibility of me scoring big, making a name, and getting attention. Even the American dream, centers around me getting comfortably established in the place of my dreams.
The “selfie” spirit then is seen in more than just photography. This spirit of self-centeredness creeps into our hearts so easily. But does it really matter? Does God care if I am “me focused?” Does it please Him? What will He say to me at judgement day about my pursuits? We must prepare today to answers these questions because at that day it is too late to change our life and our destiny.
We must remember this age was foretold in 2Tim 3:1-2, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”
Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Calling attention to oneself is a form of self-praise. It is contrary to the design of God for our lives. He created us to draw attention to Him and worship Him.
1Pe 5:5-6 says, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” This call to humility stands in direct contrast to the “attention for me” spirit of our day. When we choose pride, we place ourselves in conflict with God who ALWAYS wins! When we choose humility, we place ourselves on His list for exaltation in His time.
We desire to live with God in Heaven for eternity. He has given us life to believe in Him and live out His righteousness as living proof of our identity with Him. We must think soberly about our daily lives and test our actions by His standards. Our little daily choices, that seem so innocent, become a lifestyle before we realize it. May God help us to choose humility and service to others rather than this self-centered life our culture promotes. May we focus more on praising God than getting attention to ourselves.