Nothing says “Happy New Year” like a nice dose of some me-first philosophy. December was draining on us all, we sacrificed and spent and everyone is a bit tired. Come January, it’s me time. New goals, lifestyle changes… the world is our proverbial oyster. In this nutty world where so much business and chaos abound, isn’t it actually necessary to be selfish? How else will we ever be happy? Our true selves? Successful?
I’ve been seeing this new commercial from Apple touting their latest and greatest invention, the Slofie. It’s a selfie that your can take in slow-motion. I know. We can now all be in our own little shampoo commercials, flipping our hair in slow-mo for all to see. God help us all.
We inhabit a customizable world where everything points right back to ourselves. The idea that we should put ourselves first is totally normal now. It’s actually a virtue to be self-centered. Hustle and fight and play the game, because it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and you will fail miserably if you aren’t the captain of your own ship.
Growing up, we were at least taught that selfishness was at it’s core a negative thing. At Christian camp, we lived by the motto “I”m third”… meaning, God, others, and then myself. But times change… technology invades, the little boundaries that used to make up our lives are all but erased, and along with them, much of what rooted and grounded us to reality has disappeared.
The further we drift out into the sea of self-reliance, the crazier and more unstable we become. Just because the message is presented in a pretty font with a nice filter doesn’t make it true. Christian friends, we are no longer our own.
Love thyself is actually NOT the greatest commandment. We are told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:37), and what comes after that commandment? Love ourselves? No. Love others as we love ourselves. We already love ourselves enough… it’s kind of our whole problem. Christianity starts and ends with denying ourselves and following Christ. It’s not a punishment, but our great reward. Christ has freed us from the love and (dare I say) the drudgery of things of this world.
We are quick to use technology and travel as escapes from the boundaries of place-ed-ness. We hate being confined to our physical location. We are desperate for escape. We travel so that we can validate ourselves on social media. We take trips, not so that we can enjoy other places, but so that we can showcase ourselves.
For many, global mobility is driven by the desire to craft the next chapter in our “incessant autobiography.” And while at home, we travel the virtual world but find ourselves stuck inside of our own narcissism. What we project to the world becomes our driving motive, the aim of our travels, and the end of our digital lives. We become boring and blind to wonder.
Whether we find ourselves addicted to global travel or addicted to scouring the worldwide web, we need Christ to sever the narcissism of our hearts, to protect us from the poison of relentless self-focus, and to free us from the awe-killing prison of our own “incessant autobiography.” We were made to be rooted, and to be rooted, to find awe and wonder outside of ourselves.Tony Reinke
We have become boring and blind to the wonder surrounding us. This sentence hits me hard. After awhile… will we ever just tire of ourselves? How many selfies or slowfies can a person really post? How many eyes must be on us before we are satisfied?
We find meaning outside of ourselves. It’s not just for charitable purposes that the Bible tells us it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Don’t make 2020 your most selfish year ever, in spite of what the crazy influencers tell you. Do NOT just trust yourself for heavens sakes. Be rooted and abiding in Jesus, rest in His truth, and find out just how fun and freeing a “me third” life can be.