Friday, January 24, 2014

Refocusing in the Digital Age

How many of you know what a selfie is?  A selfie is a photo you take of yourself and post to Instagram or Facebook.  With most people owning a smart phone, a selfie is an easy way to express yourself to the world. You have full control of how you look or appear on the screen. A selfie expresses a person’s feelings, tells your friends what you are doing, and shares with others where you are at the moment. It seems there is an obsession with expressing yourself to the world. There are all kinds of categories for the selfie. There is the gym selfie where people take a picture of themselves working out.  There is also the pet selfie where people take a picture of themselves with their pets. A popular one is the car selfie where people take a picture of themselves in the car, hopefully stopped at a light. We like ourselves a lot, and more importantly, we like to be in control of how others see us.  Is this healthy?
The first thing that made me think of this was a recent talk I heard from a speaker named Christine Caine. She expressed to a group around the age of 20 that God desires to use us  for His good. However, it is very difficult to hear His voice when our own voice is drowning God’s voice out in our lives.  She said that God needs time to develop us. Unfortunately, being a generation of instant gratification, we want it now.  
I stumbled across two quotes I had written several years ago in my journal that also made me think about this.  The first quote: “When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.” This quote is by
 John Ruskin. This quote makes perfect sense but it is so hard to live by. We all, young and old, spend our lives trying to make an impact. Most of our effort is focused on becoming better.  Jeremiah 18:4 says, “And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”  All of our work to become something is in vain if it goes against God. God will do with our lives as he pleases, and that is a tough fact to swallow. We are all spoiled clay but God still wants us and is reworking us, which is beautiful. 
The second quote I stumbled upon: “For every one look within, take ten looks at Christ.”  This quote is by Robert Murray M’Cheyne.  We are all consumed with ourselves. For most of us, the world revolves around us. We spend so much of our time and energy looking within. However, we were not designed to do that. When we look at Jesus it exposes us. It hurts to look at Jesus because our sin and filth is revealed. We must look upon Jesus in order to bring salvation and sanctification to our lives. Think about how your life would be if you replaced thoughts about yourself with Jesus. How would your life change if you thought about Jesus more in the day than your needs?  Hebrews 12:2 says “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  When we look at Jesus we see what He has done for us. He endured the cross, took on our shame, and overcame death. When I view this, it humbles me and motivates me to tell others about Him. As Christ followers, we are promoters not of ourselves but of Jesus Christ.  In the age of selfies, let us be patient, yield our lives to God, and allow Him to mold us into who He wants us to be.  Also, let us be a mirror that reflects Jesus Christ by the way we live and act in the community around us.
Humbly In Christ,
Marty Burgess 
College Pastor