God, Guest Blogger

Spiritual Selfie

By Dr. John Ed Mathisonjohn ed
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

The Oxford University Press declared that the word “selfie,” which is taking a self-portrait with a smartphone, was the new word for the year 2013.  It has become a part of the vocabulary of people today.

One of the hottest selling items worldwide has become the “selfie sticks.”  This pole-like device will hold smartphones so that you can take selfies from farther away.  We have become preoccupied with ourselves.

This unhealthy phenomenon affects both men and women.  While women have always gotten the rap as being the ones who were most concerned about their appearance, that is changing drastically.  A recent study found that the average man looks at himself in the mirror 23 times a day, compared with only 16 for women.  While women check to see if “they look OK”, most men apparently like to “admire” their appearance.

Someone suggested a contest to invent a medical term for this male penchant for unrealistic self-admiration.  One suggestion was “male-pattern boldness.”  Another was “Narc-his-ism.”  This new trend can have devastating consequences in the way men are learning to think.  The Washington Post reported that a study showed that men are three times more likely to die from drowning than women.

The National Institute of Health says that men are more likely to drink alcohol while engaging in water sports, and also more likely to falsely assume they are capable swimmers.  These are false perceptions.Some women seem to be more realistic than us men about not passing on this generational curse.  Demi Moore is reported to be warning her daughters to learn from her mistakes and stay away from all of the elective surgeries she had to try to preserve her body and make her look more youthful and beautiful.  She often lectures daughters Rumer, 26, Scout, 23, and Tallulah, 20, to not be pressured to chase an unrealistic Hollywood physical ideal.

The preoccupation with our appearance can have dire consequences.  Monica Hargrove was wanted in Ohio on criminal charges.  The Ohio police posted a photograph online after she was charged with a robbery.  Hargrove, 34 years old, was so unhappy with the online picture that she phoned the police and asked that it be taken down.  Her vanity really came out when the detective said, “Come on in and we’ll talk about it.”  She came in to protest the use of the picture they selected, and she was arrested.  Preoccupation with your looks can really get you into trouble.

The Bible is very clear that the body is the temple of God!  (Corinthians 6:19)  We need to take care of His temple, but not become dysfunctionally focused on its outside appearance.  Paul made it clear that it was the desire of God to live within us.  Paul said, “It is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)  We are not here to impress other people but to glorify God. (Tweet this)

A Spiritual Selfie is what God sees when He looks on the heart – on the inside and not the outside.  We need to spend more time cultivating the beauty on the inside, and less time trying to cultivate the beauty on the outside.

Check your Spiritual Selfie!

John Ed’s blog posts appear each week in For His Glory.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

4 thoughts on “Spiritual Selfie

  1. Actually, I was short-sighted when describing vanity as a 2000 year old problem. In the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes it speaks of “vanity vantiy, there is nothing new under the sun.” As for Dr. Mathison, you were fortunate to have had him as your Pastor. I look forward to his comments every Thursday.


  2. I really liked Rev. John Ed’s post, using a chic 21st Century term to evaluate a 2000 year old spiritual problem. That’s a good way to reach today’s generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ronn. John Ed’s posts are usually my favorites. He was an extraordinary pastor for me for 14 years when we lived in Montgomery. His dad was a pastor for more than 60 years. John Ed’s brother is a pastor in Auburn, Alabama and I believe is still the chaplain for the Auburn University football team. They each had a distinct preaching style. They preached from God’s word and have touched thousands of people with their preaching and their sacrificial lives.


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