As many individuals begin to realize the world around themselves – one would tend to (hopefully) notice that this world is not rotating around the beauty of them. History has proven otherwise. For example, the iconic lead singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain once said, “I don’t care what you think unless it’s about me.” In addition, the late Irish writer and poet, Oscar Wilde once wrote in his book, An Ideal Husband; “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” These quotes along with thousands of other public figureheads have said many similar words regarding the value of self, perhaps placing oneself above another.
So the ultimate question here is, “Why Do We Do What We Do?” Why do we think way we do? Where does our base philosophy about life lead us?
As a Youth and Family Director, I am constantly faced with many of these questions. I’ve worked hard at finding the answers to people’s questions and in the process raising more questions in my own mind. The core of all of this for me is centered on one simple word…”Glory“. Here is the philosophical basis for our existence. Now that we have a cornerstone to our structure, we can begin to decipher who will be glorified.
Ever heard of the word, “Selfie“? Of course you have! It is one of the latest buzzwords used in today’s language. One might think that this is a new idea or terminology, but social scientists have been documenting this since before the invention of the photographic camera in the early 1800s. The first “selfie” was initially popularized by Robert Cornelius, an American pioneer in photography, who was the first to photograph a person, more specifically himself in 1839. We go to extremes to glorify ourselves. Don’t believe me? Here is a list of modern-day terms to prove my point: “Duckface, Miss America, Portfolio, Hipster, Classy, Old School, Vintage, Retro and Photobomb.” Not convinced yet? How about this list of selfie venues: MySpace, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Blogster, Classmates, Flixster, Foursquare, Google+, and who could forget Pinterest? I could go on and on and on, but I believe the point has been made. Let me throw in a judgement disclaimer; the very domain that this article is being placed on is a derivative of my own name. #Busted #SelfGlory #IWonderIfThisWillTrend
Were we born for lifelong self-glorification? Or, were we born for some other reason that is outside the lens of a camera, the view of a mirror or the laundry list of “look what I did” in our personal portfolios?
As a Christian, I constantly am asking the question, “Did Jesus Christ ever glorify Himself while on the earth?” I believe we could argue both ways using Scripture, but I honestly believe that the answer is “no”. If anyone had reason to take a selfie, it should be Jesus – #WalkingOnWater, #TurningWaterIntoWine, #HealingTheSick, #CastingOutDemons, #RaisingTheDead, #CreatingAllMatterOutOfNothing, #DefeatingSinDeathAndThePowerOfTheDevil! Those are Hashtag worthy reasons to glorify oneself. However, He didn’t. Read the Bible and you will see that glorifying Jesus isn’t His job, but rather our privilege and responsibility. “Your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.” 1 John 2:12
For a deeper understanding of this idea of glory, please watch and read this excellent study from John Piper. http://www.desiringgod.org/conference-messages/glorifying-god-period