In this day of social media, a new word has emerged in our vernacular. It seems every personal device these days has some sort of camera on it and most people with a camera in hand can think of no better subject to take a picture of than – you guessed it – themselves. So, the social media world is awash with these self-portraits. So much so, they now have a name…“Selfies.”
Recently, a somewhat controversial selfie dominated the news cycle. President Obama’s selfie taken at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service created quite a stir from critics and friends alike. Many people are questioning whether or not the President was showing disrespect by snapping a selfie (during the service) with the people seated near him.
Some things are given names and it makes you wonder why in the world they are called that. But in the case of selfies, I think the name fits perfectly. After all, the most important aspect of them is self. And when you add to the fact that this picture of me was taken by me, it makes total sense that I would call it a selfie.
Want to see a selfie in the Bible?
Genesis 11 is the story of the Tower of Babel. In verse 4, we see the admission of the builders of this project that it was a selfie, through and through. They wanted to build this tower themselves and the purpose was to establish a name for themselves in the process. It was by them and for them. Sounds like a selfie to me.
I really don’t believe God has a problem with people wanting to build something. He made us that way. We are builders by nature. The problem comes with why they wanted to build it. If they had said, “Let’s build a great tower in honor of the God we love and serve and to be a place where we worship Him,” then perhaps, God not only would not have stopped them, He would have come to their aid. In fact, many years later, God would lead His people to build for His honor, and He blessed it when they did.
How about what we do every Sunday? How many times do we approach the responsibility of leading worship with a self-serving motive? Could it be that when we throw in that great vocal line or pick the song that shows our strengths instead of the song that serves the Body of Christ in worship, we are in effect, taking a selfie?
Next time you see someone snapping a self-portrait, be warned against doing the same thing in worship as you plan and lead. Pray the impression made on the people you lead will not be about you, but about Him.
In our world, there is absolutely no room for selfies.
Director, LifeWay Worship