Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:01

Oh No! Not Another Selfie!

Written by  Kyle Searcy, Fresh Anointing International House of Worship
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I recently ministered in Brazil where there was a significant language barrier. Our team understood almost nothing of their Portuguese. However, we quickly found common linguistic ground when one of our ladies took out her camera, pulled one Brazilian lady close to her, taking a joint photo. The Brazilian woman said, “Selfie!” Though they could not understand, “May I have some water please?” they understood selfie.

I think selfies are great fun, but I wonder if the prevalence of what the selfie represents manifests a deeper sign of our times. Paul the apostle warns “…that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…” (2 Timothy 2:1-2a).

 

This peril does not directly result when men love themselves; it is a consequence of behaviors that accompany love of self. Paul continues in 2 Timothy 2:2b-5; “…covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” None of these behaviors are possible unless too much self is involved.

 

Our society has unwittingly embraced narcissism. Nursery school behavior has become society’s norm, demonstrated by a widespread entitlement mentality and lack of personal responsibility. We are self-absorbed. Love of self, like the love of money, is a root of many evils. Let us consider a few.

 

Lucifer fell due to love of self. He repeatedly expressed his desire to become like God when he said “I will” (Isaiah 14:12-17). Adam and Eve‘s motive behind eating the forbidden fruit was self-gratification. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6). 

 

Truly embracing the Gospel requires selfless sacrifice. Jesus was clear: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Matthew 16:23,24). Logic dictates that if selfishness produces destruction, selflessness is required for salvation. To fully embrace the Kingdom of God we must embrace the Jesus model:

 

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”(Philippians 2:3-8).

 

 

Self denial is not asceticism; we cannot use the flesh to deny the flesh. It is simply placing God and others before ourselves. Practice it by:

 

 

1.  Checking Your Motives. Nothing should be done for selfish personal ambition or from pride. Ask the Lord to show you all that emanates from this motive and repent of it.

 

2.  Estimating Others Higher Than Yourself. This is only possible through the lens of grace. If grace is our measuring rod, even the beggar on the street can receive esteem from us because we realize “but for the grace of God, go I.”

 

3.  Regularly Spending Time Serving Others.This should include not only those you must serve but those you choose to serve. We must find needs and meet them as Jesus did.

 

 

These seem simple but take effort to practice regularly. Instead of being “selfie” oriented let us be “others-ie” focused. This probably will not be the most popular word in the next years, but let us make it our modus operandi.

 

 

Kyle Searcy has a passion for developing a new generation of leaders. He serves as senior pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, and also in Norcross, Ga.  Learn more at KyleSearcy.com.

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:04
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