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Self Worth in Self Photo?   

Admittedly we're part of the older generation. We confess that we can't keep up with all the new techno gadgets and fads. But, this one really struck home. Has anyone heard of "Selfies?" They are the newest fad to hit the internet.

"Selfies" are photographs that people take of themselves. There are all kinds of ways to do it. One is by using a Selfie Stick. Users attach a camera to a long stick and strike various poses to photograph themselves eating, sticking out their tongues or doing other mundane, daily things. Then we post our Selfies on Facebook.


The popularity of Selfies is evidenced by how many people do it. According to some estimates as many as 100 million people take Selfies each day! In fact, one calculation showed that at least 238 billion Selfies were taken just this last year alone.

Self-Worth from "Likes"

As soon as users take their photographs and post them on Facebook, the show begins. But, here comes the really sad part. After posting these photographs on-line, we check every five minutes to see how many "likes" we got.

If we don't get enough "likes" we're devastated. Really bummed! The rest of the week we feel rejected, disliked and scorned by our fellow friends on social media. We think we're of no use or value to anyone because our friends got more "likes" than we did. How many "likes" did my friend get from her newest Selfie? Let me count the ways. Oh heaven help me…she got 6 and I only got 1. I've been trashed. Ruined.

Mommy, Mommy, Look at Me!

Does anyone see a danger here? Have we really reached the bottom of the barrel by uploading our worth and value every day on Facebook? Is this simply an adult version of "Mommy, Mommy, look at me…watch me?"

That's the kind of narcissism we accept in our four-year old who is jumping rope without tripping for the first time. But, is it acceptable in forty-year olds who crave approval on-line?

Oh dear. Realistically, as soon as we feel that slight twinge of jealousy we need to shut this thing down. NOW. Say to yourself, "I'm not going there." Turn it off and walk away from it for awhile.

We all need to pull ourselves together and think about this critically. Ask yourself, does my entire life depend upon the approval of people? If I post photos of myself and check my Facebook page 50 times a day and count each "like" to determine my worth, something is terribly wrong. Isn't it? …well, isn't it?

Denying Your Selfies

We became Christians in the 1970's and have spent at least 40 years trying to die to our Self(ies)! What happened to crucifying the flesh and denying self?

The next time you feel this way we think it might be helpful to memorize these verses, repeating them often to yourself as we shift our focus back to biblical reality:

…"am I now seeking the favor of men or of God?" (Galatians 1:10)

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men"… (Colossians 3:23).

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me"…(Galatians 2:20).

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23).

…"our old self was crucified with Him" (Romans 6:6).

Trade Selfie Stick for Shepherd's Staff

Don't ever give up on this task. Take the antidote to Selfies and memorize and spread the Word to others who are addicted to this nonsense. Teach others to deny their Selfies. Walk away from social media competitions. Trade in your Selfie Stick for the Shepherd's Staff. "Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4).

Here is what we should be doing instead. Let's try to devote our lives to helping widows and orphans, feeding the poor and concentrating on doing something worthwhile.

Keep in mind that the number of Facebook "likes" you get don't determine your worth. God does.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).


Valorie Emilio holds an MA in history from UCLA focusing upon Christian origins. She works with and teaches women at the Gospel Rescue Mission in Grants Pass, Oregon, where her husband, Ken, serves as Director.

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