Tag Archives: Selfie

#AshTag May Best Reveal Your #HeartThing. #JesusSaysSo

AshTagLogo-1024x987So today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season. It is a time when many observers of of a tradition dating back to roughly the 8th-9th century get an ash mark of a cross placed on their foreheads. Followers will attempt to spend the next 40 days in penitent prayer, fasting, and giving, remembering Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness. And, of course, followers will post the obligatory Selfie with an Ash-marked forehead, #AshTag.

Wait, what? Isn’t that sacrilegious? #AshTag faith? 

Please don’t misunderstand. I assume that there are those who are serious about Lent. They honestly desire to grow closer to God by fasting, prayer, and giving alms (charity). And out of respect for the “sacred,” most followers probably aren’t #AshTagging Selfies of their foreheads. But it does raise an interesting question: “Was Lent ever sacred in the first place?” And is it really sacrilegious to #AshTag a Selfie today?

After all, Lent is not in the Bible. It is a tradition invented by men. Nevertheless, the Bible does give us several examples of true people of faith displaying penitence in sackcloth and ash. So is there anything wrong with taking 40 days to fast, pray, and give charitably? And is it wrong to let others know you are doing it?

Well, it depends.

And it may just be an #AshTag that finally reveals the heart of a believer. Because, like so many religious issues, it is a #HeartThing. And there is simply no better way to get to the bottom of heart things than to examine the words of Jesus. Consider Christ:

Matthew 6
Regarding Outward Righteousness:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” 

Regarding Charitable Giving:
“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” 

Regarding Prayer:
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

 

Regarding Fasting:
“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

 

So, today is a great day to examine your heart. Is your first thought to practice your faith to be noticed by men or God? If by God, just remember that He told us what He wants. God knows your heart. He isn’t impressed with outward appearances. He wants followers who are dedicated to prayer, repentance, and serving.  It is a #HeartThing. #JesusSaysSo

Dying For A Selfie vs. Dying To Selfie

selfie in carThe Selfie. Harmless self-promotion? Or deadly danger? You decide! Up until recently, I would have said Selfies were mostly harmless, but maybe I was wrong.

Lately, the headlines are getting worse: “Couple Killed After Falling From Cliff While Taking Selfie,” “Train Selfie Kills Three Indian Students,” “15 Year Old Dies Taking Selfie In Front of Train,” etc. And the most recent? A Selfie was blamed for a plane crash!

That’s right. Based on information found on a GoPro camera at the crash site, the determination was made that the pilot of a small plane probably caused his death and a passenger’s, all because he was distracted…while taking Selfies.

Now, Selfie-danger isn’t new. In Greek myths, a young man named Narcissus was so in love with his own reflection in the water that he was unable to stop staring at himself. He ultimately drowned and was turned into a flower. Like Narcissus, some people are so enamored with themselves that they ignore the dangers around them. Like Narcissus, they would rather die because of a Selfie than die to Selfie.

What does dying to Selfie look like? Glad you asked. Take a look at Luke 9:23-24:

And [Jesus] was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

Jesus is the perfect example. He wasn’t into self-promotion, and He always put the Kingdom first.

I’m not against using “Selfies” to capture memorable moments. This message isn’t really even about photos. But it is about your heart. And each day we take “Selfies” of our hearts and post them online…no, not Facebook…but in the Book of Life.

My question is, “Does your record promote self or show you following Him?”

If you follow Jesus, and die to selfish needs and desires, He promises the abundant life. But if you insist on Selfie first…well, I hope the danger was worth the shot.