My friend, Lynn Cowell, and I were hiking in the mountains. We had driven several hours away to pray and fill back up after an intense week of ministry.
At one point on the trail we stopped to rest while this sea-level girl let her lungs fill up with sweet oxygen.
Lynn sat on a rock and began to share her burden for teen girls. She told me how the #selfie movement was impacting girls, leaving them confused when the attention they hoped to receive backfired, or as they confused “likes” and cyber attention with real love.
As we hiked down the mountain trail, I couldn’t get away from this conversation.
Because my#selfie gets in my way all the time.
It lands in my heart asking me to validate my ministry with the number of likes that I have.
It shows up when I put way too much thought on that wrinkle that’s popped up right between my eyes. (How many times do you retake your #selfie to get it just right?)
It happens when I miss the bigger picture because I’m all up in my feelings, wanting nothing more than to karate chop someone in the throat in the heat of the moment. Even though I
might not won’t do it, I really, really want to.
I know this sounds silly, but scripture invites me to experience a #denymyselfie shift in my heart.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25 NIV).
When I do this I lose #myselfie, but I find myself in the process.
Here, let me take the spotlight off of me and put it on You, Jesus, as I rejoice in the 10 or 10 million!
Because that’s who I am. I love ministry through and through. It’s a privilege!
Here, let me celebrate the years and the laughter that caused these wrinkles for You have given me life!
Because I prayed years ago when I was a young mom to be healed of cancer, and I love nothing more than the joy of what I’ve gained with those extra years.
Here, let me relieve this relationship of the grudge I’ve carried for far too long, because You forgive me over and over.
Because I was never intended to live tangled up in my emotions, stuck when God has so much more for me.
As Jesus walked with those disciples, he knew that they would inherently struggle with this.
He knew that I would struggle with it, too.
#Denyingmyselfie is putting the me factor aside long enough to find the God factor instead.
That’s deep, transforming work on the inside that spills out in ways that can never be captured in a 3-second selfie or a #selfie way of life.
Welcome to today’s #livefree Thursday linkup!
The writing prompt is: #selfie
1. Link up your inspiring post with the button below.
2. Feel free to grab the #livefree button (on the right) to display on your blog. I’d love for you to add a link to #livefree Thursday.
3. If you don’t have a blog, share in the comment section. I’m reading everyone of them!
4. Then, and this is the only thing I ask of you. Leave a comment on the post linked up right before yours, and then check out one more. Tell her that her words matter. ♥
Let’s do this! Link up!
Oh how I wish I could have read this earlier this year. I have been married 30 years. I was tempted because of loneliness and not being connected with each other. I attached myself to Facebook and found someone from my past who hung onto every word. He took advantage of the opportunity I gave. My husband and I are back together now. Due to my succumbing to temptation it has caused a lot of heartache, a lot of regret and now satan leads me to doubt myself, God’s love and my salvation. I struggle everyday. I wish I had prayed instead of just going on feelings.
Teresa, though Satan may be putting thoughts of doubt in your head, you know that’s not how God works! The Enemy is a liar, and he’s trying to cheat you out of the freedom that God’s grace has already put into place. Suzie’s blog post on Tuesday of this week was about real love, and how REAL love shows up when feelings fail to arrive. Sometimes, when all of the emotions and giddiness of “love” are muted, we tend to think that the love we once had, is gone. The truth is that THAT’S when real love shows up! In the nitty gritty of life… when things get the most crazy. You mentioned being back with your husband… honey, THAT IS REAL LOVE! We all mess up; that’s exactly when we cherish the free gift that God has already given us, called Grace. Rather than beating yourself up for what you “should’ve done” or what you did do, surrender all of that to the feet of Jesus. He’s already forgiven you with open arms (He hasn’t halfway forgiven you with “stipulations”). His grace is already yours. Nothing you could ever do would cause Him to want to take that away! NOTHING! He wants to give you freedom from “your selfie”; freedom from the lies of the Enemy. Spend time with God. Spend time in His word. Maybe you and your husband could do a Bible study together. Maybe this will require marriage counseling, and maybe not. But either way, focus on God and focus on the real love that you already have with your husband…. that love that never really went away, but was pushed to the back burner. Find ways to rekindle romance in your relationship. Allow God to speak truth into your life and lavish HIS love upon you. Open your heart to walk in the FREEDOM that He offers. I’m praying for you, Teresa. May you feel His love today, more than ever before.
This is great, Suzie, thank you! The enemy is good at what He does, isn’t he? We know he is crafty, and intentional, and his own pride is what got him kicked out of heaven. He uses our own pride to keep our eyes focused on ourselves and off of God. For me, I certainly struggle with appearances from time to time, and a need for approval, but I spent so much of my youth and young adulthood focused on myself through the lense of self-loathing. It wasn’t until I heard Beth Moore say ‘self-loathing is still self centered’ (my paraphrase) that this concept of shifting my perspective from me to Him began to take root.
I’m so grateful to have lived those years before social media exploded. My heart hurts for young people today who are wading through those waters with the added pressure and distraction of the Internet.
Praise God that He is jealous for us, and will remove any of our #selfie distractions to get us focussed entirely on Him!
I have had to build self confidence, over the years due to my responsibility in my work. I have been brought to my knees several times and realized, I need to let go and let God take the reins. Every morning before I set out for work or play, I thank God for the day, pray for him to lead me where he wants and to protect me. Then I go in his strength not mine. Let Gods will be done not mine. At 52years old, I am still leaning and learning. Trusting in what I can’t see and knowing his hand is guiding. I can do all things in Christ, who gives me strength. Never alone!
Love this prompt, Suzie. I really need to work more on #denyingmyselfie!
Suzie, am so thankful to God for your life and ministry. The Christian journey is a journey of faith through Jesus Christ with self denial. In accepting to become a Christian, all that we (I ) mean to say is that Lord, I am no longer my own but yours, hence Lord perfect your will in my life. In denying myself for God’s will I must die to sin and yield unto the Power of the Hoy Spirit who enables me to walk in accordance of his Will and purpose for my life.. Some times it brings humiliation, it becomes difficult especially when you are prompted of the benefits you will receive upon allowing the self to rule. You however may look stupid in the eyes of people for denying yourself such benefits for God’s name to be glorified but hey, this is what I have been called into and I have accepted by faith hence all that I do day by day and moment by moment must be Christ centered and not self centered, I must ask, will Christ be pleased with this action or not. The power to be able to do that which will please The Lord and not me is self denial. This is not easy though, but am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
As Christians we must seek to please The Lord in all things and note that this can only be possible when we deny the selfie. By flesh and blood we cannot deny our selfie unless we walk in the Spirit with daily in filling of the Holy Spirit .
Suzie, thank you for your always thought provoking words. Growing up it was all about appearances and never feeling like I made the grade. I don’t even want to think about what these kids face today. It was perfectionist parents & judgement, clique-ish kids for me. Multiply that by social media… Gives me chills. Brrrr. I never wanted to be part of Facebook but was required to be part of a group communications tool so I put up the picture of my bear instead of myself. It removes me from the equation. I never expect to be “liked” or “followed” & that has helped keep me out of the trap.
Thank you Suzie. I am keeping you and yours in my prayers. I have never done a “selfie” with my phone, but I sure do enough of it otherwise. It is SO easy to loose the right focus. It is so easy to focus on self and selfish desires instead of on God. Even harder sometimes is being obedient when God shows us we need to change. Indeed Jesus knew it would be. His cross was not easy to bear, nor is ours. But in HIS strength we can do all things, even the uncomfortable, impossible, and painful. His strength, His love, His Grace has no end, and for that I am faithful. Your posts and your writing has blessed my life greatly. Thanks again! Praise be to God!
Great post! My friends consider me a giving person, but I have to battle every day to keep others first. I’m glad that the Holy Spirit shows me how to be humble, to forgive, and to give the outcome to Him.
I am reading all of these from a hospital room waiting for my FIL to have heart surgery. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I wish I could reply to all of them, but my beautiful ministry friends (like Crystal) are watching this closely, praying for you, replying and loving you.
I’m thinking of you too.
I so deeply want to be done with my#selfie – and filled with Christ. Thank you for these words. It may be a constant battle, but I am doing my best to wage war (in a pretty much Godly way). 🙂
I missed the time frame of the linking so here is my post. Thank you Suzie for the opportunity.
We’ll have more! Every Thursday. : )
I love this post!