Ever since I was a teenager, I haven't liked having my picture taken. I do, however, like taking pictures of nature — birds, flowers, scenery — and especially of my family. So, for many years, I was the official picture taker. The downside was that in our family scrapbooks, there were very few pictures of me — until I got my selfie stick. Now, I could take pictures of another family member and myself or even a small group picture that included myself. I was able to see the picture and pose for it. Now, I am in the family scrapbooks, which, someday, I will pass on to the next generation.
A selfie stick is an extendable pole that holds a smartphone at a distance longer than arm's length. This allows better pictures of the user with a larger group of people or with a view in the background, like mountains or a sunset. But recently, posting selfies taken in risky and dangerous locations has become a social media craze.
According to Inside Edition,
- A woman rode a bicycle with one hand, holding a selfie stick in the other;
- A motorcyclist's passenger held a selfie stick at high speed and in traffic;
- A snowboarder wielded a selfie stick on a crowded ski slope.
Wait! There's more:
- A 68-year-old Belgian woman attempting to take a selfie in front of an active geyser stepped backwards, fell into the scalding hot water, and died from burns over 85 per cent of her body.
- An 18-year-old was swept into the sea and drowned while he was taking a selfie at a beach in Mumbai, India, during high tide.
- A 22-year-old university student in India climbed a glass dome on the third-floor terrace of a building to take a selfie. The fragile glass collapsed and she plunged 70 feet to the ground floor and was killed. (Wikipedia – List of selfie-related injuries and deaths)
Taking a picture that includes ourselves isn't always the best or safest thing to do.
Here are some things that the Bible says about "self".
Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (NIV)
John 15:8 – This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 3:16 – Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (NIV)
So, we are not to think too highly of ourselves but rather to submit ourselves to God. We are to live to please God, not ourselves. All that we do should be for God's glory, not our own. All that we are is by God's grace alone. The Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us to make right decisions.
Back to the selfie stick: It's okay to take pictures of ourselves and our friends or family or in a scenic setting, but let's use some common sense. Let's value the lives that God has given us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are so grateful for Your grace and mercy in our lives. Help us to live godly lives. Help us to see beyond ourselves so that by the power of Your Holy Spirit living in us, we would bear much fruit as Your faithful disciples. To You be the glory forever and ever. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.