It’s All About My Self-ie

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It’s All About My Self-ie

Deaths Caused by Selfies

 

I would like to begin by making it clear that I am not making this up. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll begin by sharing an unbelievable story I recently read, entitled: “Selfie deaths: 259 people reported dead seeking the perfect picture.”[1] I don’t really know what I need to say about this other than: don’t do this!

 

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The author goes on to report:

The quest for extreme selfies killed 259 people between 2011 and 2017, a 2018 global study has revealed. Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine recommend that ‘no selfie zones’ should be introduced at dangerous spots to reduce deaths.

These would include the tops of mountains, tall buildings and lakes, where many of the deaths occurred. Drowning, transport accidents and falling were found to be the most common cause of death.

This begs the sadly obvious question: Why would people do this? The simple answer: sin—well, it’s pride and self-centeredness, really.

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Selfishness: Humanity’s Problem

 

Let me explain. Now, I don’t want you to send me any ugly e-mails; I’m not saying that everybody who takes selfies is a “sinner!” What I am saying is that this story is just one more manifestation of how our own sinful characteristics—the Bible identifies this as “the flesh.”[2]

 

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You might be interested to know that this is just another example of what happened with the first humans. The first two human beings, Adam and Eve, struggled with this issue and fallen, sinful humanity has had a problem with self, selfishness, and sin ever since.

 

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God had made Adam and Eve and planted a perfect garden with His own hands. In the center of this garden, like a cosmic voting booth, he placed “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil”. Long story short: Satan tempted Eve to question God’s character and commit sin.[3]

 

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Moses, the writer of Genesis, gives us some fascinating insight into why Eve decided to rebel against God’s clear rule. Eve ultimately believed Satan’s (and her own) perspective on God, His character, and ultimately: our own sinful characters:

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too (Genesis 3:6, NLT).

 

Don’t miss it: Eve ate the fruit because it met her needs. She wasn’t interested or thinking about anything or anybody else when she made that decision…then her sin affected someone else! That’s the way it always is with sin; the consequences never happen in a vacuum. The moment we sin, we negatively affect relationships—with God, with others, and with ourselves. Some have said that all of humanity has an “I” problem. The letter at the very center of the word “sin” is I.

 

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The Struggle is Real

 

The Apostle Paul put it like this:

 

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin (Romans 6: 14-25, NLT).

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How do We Overcome Ourselves?

 

Now that we know humanity’s natural bent towards selfishness and sin, and we know that if we’re Jesus-followers, we have the power to fight it. But question is often, how? How do we overcome that natural tendency? The answer is simple, but not easy: we daily and consciously choose to live our lives with God.

 

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The Apostle Paul clarifies this point by putting it into terms anyone who is in any kind of relationship has done: “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. …Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5: 16, 25, NIV; emphasis supplied).

 

Like I said—simple, but not easy.

 

How then do we “walk by”, “live by”, and “keep in step with” God’s Holy Spirit? We constantly and purposely live in the realization that in order to live holy lives, we must invite God’s Holy Spirit to live our lives in us and through us; without this, we have no hope.[4]

 

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If we do this and do it consistently, we’ll be able to win the war against ourselves, Satan, and the world. Just be careful when you take those selfies, okay?

______

Notes.

[1] Accessed on February 21, 2019, from https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-45745982

[2] “Self” spelled backward without the “h.”

[3] See Genesis 2 & 3.

[4] For a deeper explanation of how to do this see James 4:1-10.

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About the author

Omar Miranda, a counselor for more than 20 years, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual and pornography addiction. He was the editor/director of Insight Ministries for Adventist teens and has written numerous articles and books. Omar lives in very unplain Plainville, Georgia, with his wife and two children. Check him out at omarmiranda4.wix.com/mirandawrites.