Everyone is doing it!
Your mom is doing it. The dog is doing it. I have seen grandmothers doing it (Awkward!). Even the pope has been caught in the act. This is going on at the gym, in the kitchen, bathrooms, Wall Street, The White House and even in churches. No place is off limits. It goes beyond all socioeconomic backgrounds, race, age, and religions. It knows no prejudice. Everyone is taking a “selfie.”
This artistic form of expression has taken over our social media for years now. There are several variations of the selfie. They depend on your mood and how unapologetic you are about wanting to get “likes” on your new hairdo or outfit.
Don’t get me wrong. I think selfies are very helpful. It gives us the opportunity to get the perfect angle so that we look uhh-mazing! The appropriately conducted selfie prevents embarrassing flabby arms and double chins. The duck lips and head-tilt are among the most widely used variations.
Listen, taking selfies is not necessarily a sin. You can be the president of the selfie prohibition because you do not want to appear prideful but the truth is we are all busting at the seems with pride…whether or not there is a picture to prove it.
Could it be that selfies are exposing far more than just our amazing hair day?
What if the selfie-mentality is an even more accurate picture of what is going on inside our heart. What if we take pictures of ourselves in an effort to capture time? To make a mark and etch our names into moments: “I was here!” This is not a new phenomenon–just newer tools. Cave men took selfies as well. They used flint. They were dedicated story tellers!
So we take pictures and frame our lives for others to admire. This is who I am. This is what I believe. These are the things I value. We shoot frames over and over like an artist gone mad, struggling to interrupt a blank canvas with brilliance. Time and again, we angle life for a better shot and a better story.
Aren’t we all just storytellers attempting to convey our story through the lens of a camera, adjusting the lens in order to have a better portrait?
The truth is we are really just one little “selfie” amongst generations of selfies tucked into a photo album of time. We are made in the image of God, a portrait of the Artist who created us to reflect His brilliance and glory. It has never been about our portrait, but it’s a story about the artist behind the lens.
Art that moves people provokes the question: what was the artist’s intention in this work? Thus, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “What was His intention when designing us?”
We were not made to live for selfie, we were made for MORE!
We were created to live for the big picture.
We upload the highlight reel of our life for everyone to see (granted, there are several selfies I have seen that I thought someone accidentally put up, like the one my husband shared with the world while I was in the hospital feeding our child…there is no telling how many church members saw ALL of ME!) but for the most part, we leave out all of the ugly and embarrassing.
God knows the moments that would hurt for other people to see. He knows us fully and has written our story—a story that cannot be changed by editing out the bad.
If we zoom into the heart behind the selfie, we would find not so much a desire to be seen but to be known. To be known is one of our greatest desires and fears. If they really know me…the unmasked version… will they still desire to be with me?
All that really matters is His story. If our story is not woven into His story, then we are missing the entire point of our existence.
Our obsession with self has navigated our story apart from God, and a story without God is a story that never ends happily ever after. Yet because of God’s great love for us, He sacrificed His perfect Son in our place. What a picture of love! When we see Jesus, we see a perfect picture of God; in fact, Jesus is God. Perfection. Love. Power over death. Power to heal. Compassion. How could we ever doubt His love for His children? Christ’s perfection is uploaded to those who look to God in humility and ask Him to change our selfish hearts.
(Above Picture: Annie is shown spending time with Jesus!)
Physical and mental peace comes not when we magnify ourselves, but when we get over ourselves and our need to perform. The good news of the Gospel tells us that our hope is not rooted in our performance for God, but on Jesus Christ’s perfect performance and death on our behalf.
There is freedom found in getting over ourselves! Freedom from stress and anxiety. Free to be weak. Free to fail. Free to not have all the answers. Free to be ordinary. Free to enjoy life instead of just surviving it. Free to find thanks in the strangest of places. Free to rest. Free to be real and just let it all hang out. Free to have peace in the midst of a less that picture perfect life. Free to have joy in the midst of trials. Free to enjoy a good book, friend, or movie (which is what I am getting ready to do). Free to breathe deep.
Eyes that our released from starring at thy selfie, are free to scale the height and depths of the fathers love.
So….does this mean we should stop taking selfies?
NO! However, I do want to be curious about my motives so I always ask myself this: Am I trying to point people towards my own awesomeness or is my goal to point them toward the big picture?
What do you think about the Selfie?