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Selfies and The Soul

Apr 27, 2014   //   by Kevin Wilson   //   Blog Posts  //  3 Comments

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If you’re anything like me, you are grateful that we live in the age of rapidly advancing technology. It makes life much more simple, or does it? My love for technology over the past few years have started to decline rapidly. I have grave concerns for how it is affecting the culture, especially our youth. I see no influence on our world today greater than the influence of TV, Movies, Social Media sites etc. Sadly the influence is a terrible one. Trying to find something wholesome to watch on television anymore is like trying to dig for a good apple in the garbage can. You might find something, but look what you have to pick through to get to it. This brings me to a activity online that is wildly popular, Selfies. While I am not against the occasional ” look at my new hair color” selfie, I am strongly opposed to the “its all about me” flesh fest that is happening on social media right now. As Christians it is so important that we are committed to the passage of scripture that says; “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think”. Romans 12:2 NLT. Whether we want to face it or not, when it comes to social media, the devil is in the details. Some might ask, ” Are you a part of one of those communities that think any modern technology is of the devil”? Absolutely the opposite is true!  What I’m concerned with are enemies of the  soul. The devil doesn’t care how he gets into your life, as long as he gets in. The glorification of creation rather than the Creator is staggering. Selfies can be as innocent as showing off a new pair of shoes or a new trendy outfit that you bought. There is nothing wrong with that. Usually this is not the case. If you and I are honest with ourselves, its usually a cry from deep within for attention and affirmation from those we are friends with. Or in some cases, people we barely know, which is scary. See, we are all human whether we are saved or not. At the core of humanity is a desire to be accepted, loved and affirmed by everyone we encounter. The truth that a lot of people, especially our youth don’t realize is that all of those desires can only be filled by God. The issue is that when something gets popular in the secular world, Christians tend to jump on the same bandwagon without first discerning what they are getting themselves into. Thus the world cannot tell us from themselves and we blur the lines so much that they have no one to turn to. This is sad seeing that we are suppose to be guided by the Holy Spirit, not pop culture. Here are three things one should consider when posting a selfie.

 

1. What is the motive behind this selfie or what is it that I am trying to say

    This may seem like an unnecessary question to ask yourself before posting a selfie, but it’s the most important question you can ask yourself before posting one. Lets be honest. When you’re posting a selfie, its your desire that people see you. What is it that you want them to see? Deep within our hearts is the longing to be approved. If you think about it, there are not many reasons that you can come up with on why you post a selfie other than you want a person to focus on you at the moment. Again, its not wrong in and of itself, its the motive behind it. It is important that our soul is healthy in this culture. This culture is saturated with celebrities who promote self glorification which is in direct contrast to what scriptures teach. God should be the one lifted high, not us. As a married man scrolling through my Newsfeed, what is it exactly that you’re trying to say to me? Believe it or not, every picture has a message behind it. You may say, my picture is not for you. Okay, but you know that I’m going to see it, so whatever message that you’re trying to send to those select few people, I’m getting the same message, so be careful. Some pictures should only be seen by your husband. Some looks should be only given to your husband. Your seductive eyes, protruding hips and duck face should not be for public consumption. No one posts pictures of themselves because they think they’re ugly. So those pictures that you post are telling someone’s husband, son, and teen girl something about you, every time you post. Is it that you think you’re beautiful? That may very well be true, but why the need to constantly remind girls who are struggling with their self image and their ever changing bodies how beautiful you are? Or that husband that is having marital problems and is already having a problem with wandering eyes? Does he need to keep being reminded of how beautiful YOU are? Or how much weight you’ve lost so that you could fit into your bikini? Sometimes the things that we look at as being innocent and the norm has been perverted by hell itself. The devil will use anybody. I’ve seen everyone from teen girls to Pastor’s wives fall into this trap. The devil is prowling around, seeking someone or some marriage to devour. Be on your guard! 1 Peter 5:8 Ask yourself, what is my motive? This goes for guys as well. No one needs to see your abs but your wife. Do the girls that are friends with you on your social media accounts need to see how you’re progressing in the gym? What about young guys that you could potentially mentor? They need to see what you have on the inside instead of constantly being reminded how ripped you are. We are to be men of integrity. if our minds are constantly on our physique, we can’t be effective for the cause of Christ.

2. Will my Picture in any way cause my brother or sister to stumble

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9This is a big one, seeing that a lot of selfies do just that. Women, think about how many men you are friends with on Facebook. Some married and some single or engaged. I’m convinced that most women do not think of this when posting a picture of themselves. While you think you look fabulous in your new bikini with your newly slim body, so does your friend’s husband and the single guy at church who is doing everything he can to keep himself pure for his future wife. Men in this culture are bombarded enough with endless innuendos and seductive pictures in magazines, billboards, TV commercials etc. So while you’re trying to boost your self esteem, there is a husband out there who is buckling under the pressure of a sex saturated culture. This type of thing should certainly not come from women of God, but yet it happens all the time. Pictures that focus on your eyes, form etc are simply not healthy for men. You may say, its his fault, he shouldn’t be looking at me in that way. You are right, he should not look at you that way, but this works both ways. You need to use wisdom with what you post and he needs to guard his heart and mind from these things. Many men are scrolling through their Newsfeeds and being assaulted by sexual images from so called Christian women. 1 John 2:16 says, “For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father, but from the world. Consider the negative influence you can have on a pre-teen or teen girl with your selfie. So many teen girls struggle immensely with low self esteem. The last thing they need is sister “perfect body” from church posting seductive pictures of herself. Instead of being part of the solution for teen girls, you can easily become the problem. I hear all the time, ” it’s my body, i will choose to do with it whatever I want. the scripture says different 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. When your body or your face comes up in your friends Newsfeed, they can’t help but see you. After all that’s what you want right? If no one saw it, it would be pointless to post. So if we know that’s the case, then we need to be very careful. Many marriages have been broken up because of Facebook and Instagram. Where women are more relational, men are 100% visual. It will effect them one way or another. In Paul’s day because of Jewish customs, eating some meat was considered by some offensive. Paul realized the freedom that he had in Christ to eat meat. We see this in 1 Corinthians 8. Paul didn’t take a nonchalant attitude to the fact that someone may stumble over something that he didn’t see anything wrong with. Not one time did Paul blame the other believer for being weak in their faith. He didn’t call them immature Christians.Paul instead humbled himself and said if what he was doing was causing another believer to stumble, that he would not do it again in his lifetime. This is the attitude that God has called all of us to have. Imagine what healing could take place if we lived by this principle in the word of God. We must be willing to lay our lives down for one another.

3. Is what I’m posting bringing glory to God or am I advancing hell’s agenda on the earth

I guess having a teenage daughter growing up in this culture has heighten my awareness to the dangers of this phenomenon. There are at least 400 million Snapchats sent everyday. That is an astounding number. It would be great if those were just friendly pictures between friends. Often what you find is the exact opposite. Go to any teenager’s Facebook or Instagram page and look at all the pictures they took of themselves. Then look at all the comments below. No doubt you will see other bright eyed teens comments of praise of the person’s looks. Guys will talk about how hot she is and gals will say things like, I would kill for that body. If this was only happening on pages of people who didn’t profess a personal relationship with Christ, we would have nothing to discuss here, but these are blood bought believers and their children participating in a flesh fest. At this point you may be saying; Lighten up, it’s just a picture! Tell that to the thousands of men who are hooked on pornography. Tell them to “lighten up” its just pictures. That’s exactly what they thought when they started glancing through the sport’s illustrated swimsuit edition magazine. They thought to them- selves, its just pictures, it can’t be that bad. Now they find themselves locked in the grips of hell itself, fighting sexual addiction and some committing sex crimes all because of a “innocent” picture. Tell that to all the girls who are struggling with bulimia and anorexia, that the weight loss pictures that were crammed down their eye canal was “just a picture”. Don’t tell me pictures don’t have power. Sex sells. Just ask Calvin Klein. Quite a few years ago when he changed his advertising for his products to more of a sensual tone through his pictures on colognes and magazines, his sells skyrocketed. All because of pictures. So as Christians, our desire more than anything should be to bring glory to our King. Is it wrong to post a picture of yourself on social media? No, but always check your motives and your heart and be honest with yourself. The only way your heart and soul can truly be healthy is that you are honest with God daily and you are honest with yourself. You are not your own, you’ve been bought with a price. Honor God with your Body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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