Today I took a picture of myself standing outside in the freezing cold, attempting to take a ‘selfie’ in front of a snow-covered tree. I thought to myself, “what a perfect background to take a picture”, and so there I was standing outside with my arm stretched out as far as it could go, in order to get me, myself and the tree within the camera lens. After I had taken about twenty plus photos, I decided that I may as well post it on social media for others to see. I mean, what’s the harm? Everyone posts selfies, right?
Moments after I had posted the picture, I waited.
I waited as I stared at my phone, hoping to see if anyone liked or commented on the photo I had just posted of myself.
A few likes popped up, and so I felt a sense of confirmation that I had posted the “right photo” of myself for others to see.
Does this sound familiar anyone, or is it just me who does this?
In Romans 7:15-20, Paul says:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Before I posted the picture of myself, I wrestled with the idea of sharing it publically. My own sinful nature loves anything to do with self. It seeks its own, rather than others or God. It seeks attention and approval from man, rather than from the Lord (Read 1 Corinthians 13:5).
Instead of listening to the initial prompting of the Holy Spirit, which was saying “Sara, you don’t need to seek approval from others” I gave into the lie that I needed man’s approval today.
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. -Galatians 1:10
I’ve often fallen into this trap, but the Lord has helped me grow tremendously in this area simply by refraining from serving self and serving Him and others. Simply by His grace, He allows me to ask for His forgiveness and start all over again.
While I don’t think it’s sin to take a photo our ourselves, I do believe we can have wrong motives behind the act of taking a selfie. Maybe it’s because we want someone to notice us, or maybe it’s because we are looking for attention in the wrong places.
I believe that God holds each one of us accountable for our actions, whether they be right or wrong. It’s our responsibility to make sure we are aligning our actions, thoughts, and motives with His word so that we can live to serve Him whole-heartedly.