(January 20) Carol shares a revelation that leads to reaching out beyond ourselves…
In 2013, the word ‘selfie’ gained international recognition when it was named the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.
Their definition follows: ‘A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
Selfies abound on social media, especially Facebook. Although the younger generation is more likely to post self-portraits, I’ve seen others, from their 50s on up, post photos, not of their faces necessarily, but of wounds they’ve accrued through accidents or after surgery.
The first ‘selfie,’ according to different websites I checked out, was posted on Facebook by a 22-year-old Australian man who had suffered a busted lip after tripping and falling face-first at a party. The man apologised for the somewhat blurry photo of his lower lip when he said, ‘Sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.’
Focus and selfie
Two words in his statement jumped out at me when I read the story – focus and selfie. Looking at these two words through spiritual eyes, we are reminded through various scriptures not to focus on ourselves, but God and others.
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked by a Pharisee, ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’
Jesus replies, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
What do our lives look like?
What if we examined our lives in light of these commandments? More or less? More of Jesus, less of me. More of helping and spending time with others and less of what I desire.
We’d be challenged to ask ourselves this question with every activity we wanted to join or every door of opportunity that opened. We’d need to ask the question, “Do I need more of this or less of that in my life?”
Social media can be used for good but if we spend too much time using it as a tool to promote our own agendas, it leads to losing focus on real relationships. Instead, our focus is on ‘selfie.’
Real relationships, including one with Jesus, looks like the following:
- Spending time in prayer
- Studying scripture
- Being in fellowship with other Christians and less social media
- More time with friends and family
- Less emailing and text messaging
- More quiet time
- Less noise from the worldly shouts of ‘It’s all about me.’
Not about us
In The Purpose Driven Life, the very first statement made by Rick Warren, pastor and author is –‘It’s not about you.’
We’re born self-centred and dependent on our parents to provide for our needs. It’s all about us: feed me, change me, hold me and play with me. To move from selfishness to selflessness requires intention and a whole lot of Jesus. We can’t do it without him.
John 3:30 TLB declares, ‘He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.’
In 2018 Jesus must become greater. We must become less.
We’ll also find that we’re reaching out more to needy people… this too is part of ‘It’s not about me.’
Carol Round, Special to ASSIST (http://www.assistnews.net/), follows her passion of using her writing and speaking abilities to inspire others. Adapted from her recent ASSIST article.
Also recommended: Carol’s latest book, Growing Confidently in Your Faith, at www.carolaround.com