As I hopped on the computer this morning and scrolled through my Facebook and Instagram feeds, I was struck at how many selfies I ran across. And I'm not just talking about regular selfies, I'm speaking of "ministry" selfies. You know those photos that people post of themselves along with a scripture, word of encouragement or invitation to a ministry event.
Today's discoveries made me think of a line from A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God, which I'm reading now. It says:
"Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice."
The book was published in 1948--nearly 70 years ago. Self was an issue in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned, it was an issue in 1948 when Tozer wrote the book and it still is an issue today. Tozer refers to the "self-life" as a close-woven veil we wear that is an enemy to our lives and a block to our spiritual progress. How many today would agree with this? Instead of denying self, we coddle it, cater to it and promote it.
Tozer goes on to say:
"So I am bold to name the threads out of which this inner veil is woven...To be specific, the self-sins are these: self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them. The grosser manifestations of these sins, egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders."
I understand that posting selfies is deeply ingrained in modern culture. It's just what we do. But seeing how promoting self is trumping promoting God has me double checking my motives.
Just this week, someone sent me a thank you for a recent Bible teaching series I'd done. My first reaction was to re-tweet it until I felt the need to check my motive. Why was I going to re-tweet it? To let those following me know how awesome I am? To share the link? To make people think more highly of me? When I realized that my motive wasn't as pure as I originally thought, I simply replied thank you without re-tweeting. I struggle with that fine line between healthy promotion and blatant self-promotion. I never want to be guilty of crossing the line. I know what it breeds in people when they see it constantly. Think about when you see "just one more" selfie parading as a encouragement from the scripture or yet another selfie that is supposed to serve as ministry, doesn't it make you wonder why?
Why do we spend so much time promoting ourselves instead of the One who who deserves it? So I'm checking my heart to make sure I don't fall down that slippery slope of the selfie ministry by:
- Not thinking less of myself, but thinking of myself less.
- Checking my motives before I post or re-post something on social media.
- Sharing things I want people to know that I am involved in with the mind of Christ (the realization that it should always point back to Jesus.).
May I never be more enamored of myself than I am of the Lord who created me for His purpose.