More and more selfies are becoming about self-worth and value


I take them. You take them. We all take them.

We take them at parties. We take them on the beach. We take them at gatherings. We take them in front of the mirror. We put them on Instagram. We wait for comments. What do selfies tell us about ourselves? Often, I find people who are in need of approval. They are hoping someone will comment and tell them they are beautiful, or wonderful, or courageous, or that they made a great choice on their hair, makeup, attire, car, house or pet purchase.

Why do we need approval? Most of us are not being built up, encouraged and enabled to be strong and courageous. We are being ridiculed, torn down and destroyed by a culture, which is selfish rather than selfless as Jesus addresses.

Our #MCM, #TBT and #FBF are all designed for us to post something that is already accepted, or we have already decided upon and are confident. Our daily selfies tend to be like the girl who could not decide on a prom dress and wanted Facebook to decide. Only 13% of American women consider themselves pretty and only 28% of men think of themselves as handsome. 94% of men and 99% of women would change something about themselves. 1 Thank you media outlets. Thank you.

Self-Worth

Maybe it's how you look. Maybe it's that you're not good at something you want to be good at. Maybe it's the mistakes in your past. Maybe you have been told you are worthless. These thoughts can weigh us down. What God wants you to know is that Creation established your value, and the Cross of Christ established your worth.

Self-Confidence

Fear overwhelms. Faith overcomes. "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1). The dictionary defines courage this way: the ability to face and deal with a dangerous or difficult situation. There are two parts—first to face, and then to deal with. General Patton is quoted to have said, "Courage is fear that holds on one more minute." Every day we deal with issues of abuse, bullies, sex, depression, difficult circumstances and more. The child of God, by the Spirit, has the ability to reveal bravery, firm feet, action and optimism. Do you believe?

Self-Control

Temptation is all around. We face it today. Satan wants us to believe 1 of 3 things:

  1. You can do it all by yourself.
  2. There is a quick-fix to everything.
  3. Go with your gut; it is never wrong.

Satan has not changed his tactics. These are the same 3 things he tempted Jesus with in the desert. Scripture helps us see right from wrong. Our relationship with God through faith in Jesus gives us the chance to respond immediately. Temptation itself is not the sin. What we do with temptation is.

Self-Image

When you stand in front of the mirror, what do you see? What do you say to yourself?

  • Ugly
  • Fat
  • Stupid
  • I will never …
  • I can't …

These negative considerations drive us to insanity. The unrealistic imaging we see from magazines and porn sites only create more negativity. How could we ever look like that? We become negative thinkers or succumb to the cosmetic knife and enhance ourselves. Men are popping testosterone pills, Cialis and Viagra to be "that" guy they used to be. Women are adjusting themselves surgically. We are called by God to live somewhere between Matthew 22:39 and Romans 12:3; between loving ourselves too much and not enough.

Final Thoughts

Selfies are not the problem, but they speak to a problem if we are trying to find acceptance, approval or admiration because we think too little of ourselves. I am not saying we have to go all Stuart Smalley. God has created us. He died for us. He still loves us. He's coming back for us. Stand with confidence, value and worth. God's not through with you yet!

Summers is the lead pastor at Coulter Road Baptist Church in Amarillo, TX. He and his wife, Dulcie, have two children: Samuel and Isabella. To read more from Summers, please visit his personal blog, The Intersect, or follow him on Twitter @aaronwsummers.

1 "100% American", by Daniel Evan Weiss, quoted in Parade Magazine, December 31, 1989, p. 5

Summers is the lead pastor at Coulter Road Baptist Church in Amarillo, TX. He and his wife, Dulcie, have two children: Samuel and Isabella. To read more from Summers, please visit his personal blog, The Intersect, or follow him on Twitter @aaronwsummers.

Related articles: Use missional responses on social media during political season / Sharing your faith in a digital space / Commodities