Sunday, April 27, 2014

Deny Selfies

By the end of 2012, Time magazine considered “selfie” one of the top 10 buzzwords of the year. By 2013 “selfie” was Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year.

A few weeks ago I took my first “selfie” to send to one our daughters who lives in South America. Thanks to “WhatsApp” you can easily send pictures, texts and even videos instantly all over the world. Recently the Boston Red Sox were in the news (as well as in some trouble) for a selfie taken by David Ortiz with President Obama. Ellen DeGeneres broke the retweeting record recently with her group selfie taken at the Academy Awards.

In doing a little research (also known as Web searching) for this piece I discovered that the selfie is a major philosophical and cultural topic for psychologists, sociologists and feminists. Somewhere a  Ph.D. dissertation has to be in the works.

I will not plunge into waters too deep here and do a critique of this latest social phenomenon. I am not suggesting to you what kind of pictures to take.  However, I do think we can clearly say that Jesus came into a word full of people, who were not taking selfies, but were living as selfies. And that is why his call to deny self and take up the cross was so odds with the world’s wisdom and the religious message which was so infused by the world.

There may be a good reason to take a selfie (although the trend may be getting out of hand), but there is no a good reason to live as a selfie. We will all have to examine the relationship between the pictures we take and the life we live, but let us be sure of this: life goes as it should only as we live for God and for others. Sure, takes selfies wisely, but let’s make the way of the cross the tenor of our lives.


  1. Couldn't agree more, Tom, as I'm personally engaged in a re-study of Philippians 2, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not
    regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,being born in human likeness..." True Joy is found when you put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. My sinful nature is to be a "selfie". The Spirit of God within me, prods and empowers me to be live as a non-selfie! Thank you, God!