Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 'Selfie'

Oxford University named 'selfie' to be the word of the year in 2013. A selfie is a picture taken of oneself, usually with a smart phone or web cam, and shared on social media. There is no harm in taking a picture of yourself now and then but for some it has become an obsession. We all want our pictures to turn out right, but some have gone to extreme lengths to have the perfect picture, including transforming their face with multiple plastic surgeries. 

The current generation is probably the most photographed but least emotionally connected in all history. If you doubt this I encourage you to just watch the people around you. You will see groups of friends out for coffee, each with their eyes glued to their phone instead of talking with each other or a couple out on a date at a restaurant and instead of having conversation, you guessed it, instead they have their phones engaged in their hands. At the end of the evening those same phones will take a group picture or a selfie of themselves 'enjoying' the evening so they can post it on social media. 

As a society we are obsessed with ourselves, hence the advent of the selfie. Years ago, when we still used photo albums to store our pictures, there was seldom a picture of the family photographer. Whether it be mom or dad, they were the ones behind the camera taking pictures of the family and it was hard to get them to be in a picture. By looking through a family album you can tell who the family photographer was because they are the ones missing from most pictures. 

We love ourselves and we like seeing ourselves all the time. But its no wonder that we do. 2 Timothy 3:1-3 warns us that this would be a sign of the last days: "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good...".

During my husband's college days he worked with a young man who had just celebrated his first Christmas with his new bride. On the first day back to work my husband asked him how his Christmas was. He replied that it was horrible! They had a huge fight on Christmas. When asked what had caused the fight, he said it was because she hadn't bought him anything fun. He had wanted a video gaming system with the games for it and all she had bought him were practical things like clothes. To this young man, Christmas was all about him and what he wanted. 

We ask children 'what do you want for Christmas?' and we listen to songs like 'All I want for Christmas'. We encourage 'getting' but we seldom encourage 'giving'. We say things like 'its more blessed to give than receive', but do we truly mean it? We live in a world where its all about us. Whether it be our pictures of ourselves, our selfies, or making a list of everything we want, there is no doubt that we are a generation focused on ourselves.

Let me encourage you, this Christmas season, to make Christmas about Christ. When we take the focus off ourselves and put it where it should be, on Christ, we can have true joy.  Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people". Let's make Him our focus and not ourselves and just maybe we could carry that feeling into the New Year. 

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