“You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence…” Psalm 16:11

“Lovers of themselves”

narcissistFACEBOOKI’ve been thinking about this post for a while. The topic’s a little painful, but something God’s really been working on me about.  Our culture today is self-absorbed.  “Lovers of themselves”.  All about “me”.

I’ve been trying to do a little self-reflection and really align my life with God’s plan for me in this area. I’ll admit that I catch myself doing what I’m writing about as much as anyone else. Ok, well, maybe not as much as some…. :) But, in all sincerity, it’s so common in our culture today and we don’t even really think anything about all of our updates, photos of ourselves, bragging, and letting everyone know what we’re doing . (Every. Single. Thing. we do)

It’s just “normal” for our day and age. But is it? Really, is it normal?

Imagine your life 15 years ago.  What if you went out to the mailbox every day and it was stuffed with postcards from one friend.  Imagine if each of those postcards had just one thing written on them letting you know what that friend did.  For example:

  • “Just had a latte! Yum!”
  • “I’m bored.”
  • “Here’s another photo of me.”
  • “I’m so excited!”
  • “Wearing the blue shirt today because it really makes my eyes pop!”
  • “Who’s the winner of the _____? Yep, you guessed it, ME! Woohoo!”
  • “Here’s a photo of my lunch today.”
  • “Isn’t my outfit amazing today?”
  • “Look, I’m sticking my tongue out for another photo!”
  • “Changed my eye shadow up today and I look gorgeous!”          

You get the idea.

So, what if that really happened? What would you think?

15 years ago we would have been saying, “Narcissism” (excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance).   Or maybe we’d describe it as self-love, self-admiration, conceited, self-absorbed, self-centered, egotism, extremely selfish, craving attention, etc. We probably would have thought the person needed some help. Mental and emotional help.

But today that’s basically what we do with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other such outlets. I’ll admit, I love to talk about my own kiddos and even myself (ouch). God’s really been convicting me though of what I say and do.

The passage from 2 Timothy 3 keeps coming to mind and a few words really jump out at me. I can really see how we live them out in our culture today:

3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

I’m definitely not trying to come off as all “holier-than-thou”. God has just put this idea in my heart and He hasn’t let it go yet. I thought there may be others that would find it interesting and who would want to reflect on it.

So, what’s my next step?
Well, writing something like this surely puts you out there for “observation” by others. :) It will be super obvious when I’m stuck on myself. But that’s ok. I want that accountability. I’m trying to realistically look at where I am and where God wants me to be in this area. I have a feeling it will be kind of hard. I mean, let’s face it…. It’s so “normal” in our culture to “be that person who fills others mailboxes with those postcards” nowadays.

I get how social media is often a way to keep up with friends and family through photos and by letting them know what’s going on. I’m not trying to say it’s necessarily bad.  I’m just saying that the way we use it can often put an excessive focus on ourselves and put us in that “lovers of self” category. I’ve just been reflecting on my own use of it.

  • Am I using it more to talk about myself and focus on me just for the sake of focusing on me?
  • Is it for my glory or is it something that will glorify God?

Hmm, good questions to keep in mind.

My next step is to be mindful of everything I post.

  • I want to stop and think about everything I write before I hit “post”.
  • Pay attention to when I’m being a little too self-focused, etc. ( I think this may be challenging for most of us if we really admit it!)
  • Stay out of the excessive zone where I’m only focused on myself.

For me, I feel it’s ok to write some things going on in my life, but I must focus on keeping it balanced and in check.

Is it for my glory or is it something that will glorify God?

What about you?  Is there a step you need to take to keep this area of your life in balance?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

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