It started with a haircut.
You know one of those haircuts where you don’t recognize yourself in the mirror for a few days? In the salon chair, I loved it, but every time I stepped away from the mirror I worried I’d made a terrible mistake. I pictured myself looking like the before picture of a makeover instead of the after. Then I’d pull out my phone and snap a quick selfie and fall in love with the cut all over again.
I wish my heart looked as pretty as my hair did. It didn’t.
The more selfies I took, the more I wanted to take. My sinful heart was the problem, but selfies helped me feed an obsession that needed to be starved. Instead of focusing on Christ and others, that little camera lens drew my attention and my affections toward myself.
Thou Shalt Not Selfie
If you flip open your Bible concordance looking for God’s truth on selfies, you may come up short. There is no specific command against taking pictures of ourselves and blasting them out for the world to attach heart eyes to. But since we know all of Scripture is useful for our lives (2 Tim. 3:16), we can run to the Bible for discernment for all things. Here
are some questions God’s Word encourages us to ask.
1. Am I a “lover of self”?
God’s Word encourages us not to become “lovers of self” (1 Tim. 2:4). We love what we look upon. Scroll through your Insta feed. Based on that evidence, where are your eyes looking most often? If the lens of your phone is continuously pointed toward you, you can be sure your heart is also.
2. Am I conceited?
I was voted the most conceited member of my eighth grade class. It’s an “accomplishment” I’m not proud of, but one I certainly earned. I was the center of my own universe. I wanted all of the attention I could grab. We didn’t have social media back then (Crazy, I know!) and I still struggled to shed my selfishness. With people clamoring for you to post 24/7, you face an even bigger challenge. Yet, Galatians 5:26 warns us against thinking the world should revolve around us.
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Did you catch that last part about envy? That leads us to another critical question.
3. Do selfies make me jealous of others? Do I hope they will make others jealous of me?
Does looking at selfies posted by others make you feel jealous? Do you want her hair, her clothes, or her mad skills with an eyeliner pencil?
Here’s the other side of that coin. Do you post pics hoping girls will be jealous of you? Do you post them hoping boys will take notice of you? If so, let God’s Word offer a heart check.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice (James 3:16).
Don’t Feed the Beast
Selfishness, conceit, jealousy, and envy are all offshoots of the sin of pride. Not sure that applies to you? I’ve developed a very scientific test to determine if you have a pride problem. Take two fingers and place them on your wrist. Feel anything? If you’ve got a pulse, you’ve got a pride problem. Unfortunately, the gravitational pull of self affects all of us this side of heaven, but that doesn’t mean we have to feed it.
When pride started to grow in my heart, I knew I had to make a change. I simply couldn’t keep feeding the beast. My selfie streak needed to come to an end. The 30-Day Selfie-Free Challenge was born!
I’d love for you to join me in refraining from selfies for thirty days. Wanna get really radical? No “usies” either. Use this opportunity to turn your lens and your heart toward others. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Photograph and post God’s creation every day for thirty days. Showcase what a creative God we serve!
- Focus on a need. Who needs prayer, encouragement, and support? How can you use your social media feed to draw attention to the needs of others for the next thirty days?
- Do you love your church? Me, too! Consider taking shots of your church and posting them along with reasons why you love it or an invitation to attend with you.
- Look upon what you love. You love what you look upon, remember? Other than yourself, what do you love? Your family? Your friends? Your pets? Photograph them, and post why you love them. You will find your affections for the people and places you photograph will grow as you focus on them.
Only God can change our hearts, but what could happen if we created a selfie-free zone and invited Him to meet us there. I want to find out, don’t you?
If you’ll take our 30-Day Selfie-Free Challenge, tell me about it in a comment below. If you don’t already follow us on Insta, we’d love to see you there (@liesyoungwomenbelieve). Tag us in photos you take during your selfie fast. We’d love to take a peek at the ways you’ve met this challenge!