God’s Word for Today: Self.
Ephesians 4:22. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by it deceitful desires;
I read a meme, or whatever you are supposed to call a short quote with an associated picture behind it, the other day, that once again, jumped off the page and said, “pick me, pick me!!” I didn’t save it. I don’t recall if there was a picture in the background, or just a plain black slate that made the words stand out. To me, that is all I saw, the words. It was one that made a person either move their finger to scan for the next words of wisdom, or stop and ponder and maybe even share a response. I believe I stopped and pondered. I probably gave it a “like”.
The saying was simple: “If you were to make a list of things you loved, where would you end up on the list?” Now, read that question again and give an honest answer. Where would your own name land on that list? I might have written a reply to this one. If not, I know I had a reply in my head. It was, “I believe my name would never even make the list”. I don’t think this is because I don’t love myself. I think it is more of a ………, well, I really don’t know. Maybe I don’t love myself.
I have a real hard time with “selfies”. For years now, I have either seen the thousands of selfies stored on someone’s phone and/or shared on Facebook. I have watched those caught in the selfie jaws and spend a considerable amount of time attempting to get the perfect picture of themselves. The light, the perfect hair, the practiced and perfect smile, and the perfect pose. The rest of the world can just wait for a while; this selfie thing has priority. I just cannot relate or understand the complete self-absorption that is required for selfies. Maybe it is because I don’t love myself? I have even tried really hard to do a selfie thing. I don’t believe I ever got past number 4 or 5 photos of myself, before I quit, picked one, and let it fly via social media.
If one was to take a different view of this selfie thing, it might not be such a bad thing. Those who don’t mind a selfie or two, clear up to those who have several thousand of the self-portraits, might be more honest than I am. I might not be able to stand photos of myself, and can’t comprehend the self-love it takes to obtain the perfect selfie. But, I know deep down, many decisions I have made in my life more than surpassed anyone’s selfie collection. As a matter of fact, there are a few decisions that have blown a 5000 photo selfie collection clear out of the water.
What I am trying to explain is, the times in my life that love for myself has completely laid out a disregard to anyone else. I was and did what I thought was best for me. Everyone else and their feelings and judgements could take a flying hike. It was “me time”. Who cares what the consequences might be. In the here and now, my selfie of life was top priority. To heck with anyone else. Kind of sad huh? Selfie photos don’t hurt others like selfie decisions do.
Jesus could have been the selfie king. He came to this world with the power of God in his hands. If Jesus for one little moment had put himself first with no regard for anyone else, all would have been lost. Instead, Jesus was all about everyone else. Yes, he slept when he was tired, he ate when he was hungry, and he spoke harshly to those who needed just a little boost. But Jesus was all about the love of others. His photo album would have been filled with photos of thousands, and now millions of people who meant more to Jesus, than himself.
Today, know that you need to love yourself, as Jesus has loved you. Also know that loving yourself for the betterment of others is what you have been called to do. Just think of which selfie brings you more joy. Your own photo with just you hoping you can get 100 likes or more? Or, the photo with a loved one, many loved ones, or many friends, that pay back in your emotional bank 1000 times over any amount of likes…………………….
Prayer: Dear Lord, creator and designer of me. Thank you for giving me the ability to love myself. Forgive me for the times I put this self-thing in front of your greater plan for me. I know I need to put off the old self. Help me today, to love you first God. Then, to love others. Because I know if I do those 2 things, I cannot help but to love myself. In Jesus’, whose love for others should go viral every day, name I pray. Amen.