We live in an undisputed digital age, the likes of which has never before occurred in the history of mankind! We as “social media conscious” humans enjoy taking “selfies” to share with our friends and colleagues,”tweeting” about our latest conquests or lack of them, “posting” our latest adventures complete with pictures, and generally using our online connections to gratify our need for social acceptance and personal validation. There is not necessarily anything wrong with this…society accepts this fact and we comply accordingly! If we are tired of our “selfie” we change it! If we are bored we “post”! If we need a pat on the back or a compliment, we brag in a cute way! You know the old adage, “He who tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooted!” Well, at least it makes us feel better in some sort of way!
But, did you know that God was the original inventor of the “selfie”? Well, if you don’t believe me, just read what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (KJV)
Of course, you may say, that means to speak to one another in a corporate setting such as the local congregation. But wait! Could it be that God knew we needed to speak some things to OURSELVES first before we could share them with someone else? Could it be that we needed to reinforce the goodness of God, His provision for us, His blessings in our lives, to OURSELVES so we could really get these facts into our spirits? Perhaps He really did invent the original “SELFIE”!
Yes, I understand that we are not to be “self-centered” or “narcissistic”, a word derived from the Latin “Narcissus”, a legendary young person from Greek mythology who was constantly looking at his reflection in a pool of water and was turned into the narcissus flower! We know that in order to be totally fulfilled and happy in Christ we must look outwardly, not inwardly to ourselves all of the time. We must put God first, then others, and in many ways, ourselves last. As the old song says, “Jesus and Others and You, what a wonderful way to spell J-O-Y!” Have you ever known a person who was always unhappy, feeling sorry for himself and seemingly going through endless trials and disappointments in his life, simply because he had never learned to look outside of himself and see how he could be a blessing to someone else probably suffering much more badly than himself? This is very true and a principle of life! We gain joy by giving of ourselves to others and getting our minds off of our own problems!
However, having said that, could it be that God wants us to look “inward” and “speak to ourselves” for just a moment or two about His love, power, goodness, mercy, grace, forgiveness, healing, abundance, and on and on, so that we actually may “convince” ourselves that this is true? It is like programming a computer in many ways. We must first program our minds to think correctly about the Word and what we have been given through Christ! We must first convince ourselves that He is good, that He is Lord, that He is sovereign, that He is in control in every area of our lives BEFORE we can truly worship Him in spirit and in truth; before we can truly share His love with another; before we can be a blessing to those we come in contact with; before we can spread the truth of the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ!
So, why not take just a moment today to speak to YOURSELF in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, meditating and singing about His love, goodness, power and greatness! After you have finished doing this then SHARE this love with someone nearby. Then you can share with “one another”, collectively “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20, ESV) Yes, our praise is directed TO and FOR our Lord not only for what He has done for us, but for who He is! But, do you suppose maybe we first have to speak to OURSELVES, just like we need that occasional picture “selfie” that makes us feel so special, in order to convince our minds that He really is good and His mercy endures forever? Looking “inward” in reflective self-examination and introspection is not always a bad thing! I think that God knew we needed this when He made Ephesians 5:19 a part of Holy Scripture! Think about this the next time you post that “selfie”!