I am reminded of an old saying – “It is better to be interested, than interesting.” Unfortunately, in the Christian community (Body of Christ), it seems, many believers are trying to be a little too interesting. With the ease of access to social platforms today, we are bombarded with people’s thoughts, ambitions, tirades, and awkward poses and videos – sprinkled in the mix are some good tidings and important calls to action. It has a feeling of, “Look at me, oh, and, of course, look at what God is doing.” Instead of, “Wow, Praise God! Look at what He is doing. I am blessed to be here! Thank you, Lord”
We are in the age of the “selfie” where, if we are not careful, the world is pointed towards us, instead of our lens being focused on the lost and hurting. “Click, look at me here! Click, look at me there! Click, look at what I AM DOING!” But, really, the selfie is nothing new; it is an age old problem.
You may be familiar with the story of the young Narcissus who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water (this would be the original selfie). It is from this story, based on Greek mythology, we get the word narcissism.
Let’s explore the word narcissism for a moment…
- the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes, that derive from arrogant pride.
There is the real culprit hidden away in the definition – pride. Pride is a direct assault on God’s divine plan for us. It starts innocently enough… it is just a bite from the apple, right?
The story of the grand self-promotion of Adam and Eve is where pride first reared its deceptive head, and took us from paradise to – “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground… (Genesis 3:17b-19).” In a short conversation (Genesis 3:1-6) the enemy deceived us in thinking that we could know God’s thoughts – that we could be equal to God. Pride is vicious.
The fruit that pride produces is misery, and a chasm between us and God. Look at the following verses.
- Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
- Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.”
- Proverbs 18:12: Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.
The above scripture teaches us that pride causes disgrace, loss of wisdom, and, finally, destruction. We also see in those wonderful verses in Proverbs, there is a remedy and it is the opposite of pride – it is humility. Humility is where God uses us.
It is because God is merciful that we have grace – a second chance. With divine assistance we can rejoice in knowing God and enjoying His plan for us.
Key verse: Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Remember, the stage is not ours. We were created to glorify God and to be an outward expression of His love – Less of me, more of Him… to live is Christ and to die is gain… seek the lost, sick and hurting… that kind of stuff. Second Cor. 4:5 says, “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
To be clear, I am not saying that we shouldn’t take pictures of ourselves (selfie) and post them on a social platform, or that we shouldn’t talk about our life ministry and what it is accomplishing. I have seen some precious moments captured, on film and video, as people are pouring their hearts out and Jesus is being proclaimed. What I am saying is that we should be balanced, in Christ, and have a Colossians 3:12 mindset. Paul says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…” [Emphasis added]
So, next time when you have the urge to turn the camera or the moment on you, think of what Paul, in whatever village he was ministering in, would have done walking through the streets. Is it time to magnify us, or is it time to let Jesus shine?
Stephen John Spivey
Instigator of Hope