The Christian Selfie – As followers of the Christ, what are we to say about selfies?

The Christian Selfie

sel·fie /ˈselfē/ noun INFORMAL a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.

I Love Me!  Look at Me!

As followers of the Christ, what are we to say about selfies?

Jesus tells us “Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

So what about Selfies?  Why do we do it?  Is it a way we share, or is it a way to get attention?  Is it a way for us to boast about ‘us?’  What could possibly be wrong with them?  Selfies bring people together right! It’s a way to stay in touch.    What did Christ do when the attention was on him?  In Mark 10, when someone called Christ ‘good,’ Jesus responded that no one is good except God his Father.  When someone calls us good, do we point to God?   Do we say, we have no ability to boast, and give God credit for us? Like most social behavior, the Christ-follower is to resemble the life of Christ.

So what about selfies?

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
-Matthew 23:2-12

Matthew 6 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Beyond the Selfie

What is behind the selfie? Are selfies an expression of pride?  Maybe.  Is the rest of our life self-centered as well? Or do we think about other’s more than ourselves as Christ directs us to in Matthew 23?  Do we act with pride in other areas of our lives?   Or does our speech and actions express Christian humility?  If our social media is full of self-pride instead, then our selfies are a continuation of a self-serving life and serve only to boast about us.

None of us are superhuman.  If we are ‘awesome’ ‘great’ ‘successful’, we are only because God lets us be.  Psalm 144:4 says that man is like a breath on this earth.  Our life is temporal.

So are selfies bad?   I venture that all depends on our motive and to whom we genually are boasting about not only online, but in real life as well.

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Steven Davis is a recovering social worker, well-done preacher’s kid, musician, and media producer.

 

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