Me, My Selfie, and I: What Selfies Might Tell Us About Ourselves

Perhaps I am just getting old….or maybe 53 years of breathing earth’s air has planted a bit of wisdom and caution in my heart. Whatever the cause, the wariness I feel toward social media these days is very real and a cause of legit concern. Our devices are impacting us in so many ways that are good, but also in an equal number of ways that are not good. Today, I want to ponder the selfie phenom that has taken over our world.

Let me state at the outset that I am NOT pointing a finger at anyone with this post. If the shoe fits your foot, then wear it. If it doesn’t, leave it in the box for someone else to put on. I am simply sharing what the Holy Spirit has been working in MY heart.

 

Me, My Selfie, & I: What Selfies Might Tell Us About Ourselves

 

Have you ever looked up the definition of a ‘selfie’? Check it.

 Selfie: an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera, especially for posting on social networks.

 

In my heart, there is a great deal of discomfort with this ‘selfie’ obsession that has invaded social media. Have you ever Googled the word ‘selfie’? Sweet mercy, I did not just fall off the turnip truck yesterday, but what I saw shocked me. It is incomprehensible to me that people would take such pictures of themselves…AND POST THEM ONLINE. It is also hugely disturbing to me the sheer number of ‘selfies’ that many people take and post to social media in a 24-hour period.

An article published by the American Marketing Association in November 2015 entitled, Social Media Triggers a Dopamine High, tells us that there is a physical component to social media. Who knew? The neurochemical dopamine, known as the ‘reward molecule’ is “released after certain human actions or behaviors, such as exercising, or setting and achieving a goal.” Apparently social media activity is also a trigger for the release of dopamine according to a study of Australian consumers.

“Every time we post, share, ‘like,’ comment or send an invitation online, we are creating an expectation,” according to the AMA study. “We feel a sense of belonging and advance our concept of self through sharing.”

Nowhere is this more true than with selfies. Although the word ‘selfie’ is a relatively new one, the impetus behind the action is an age-old one. Obsession with, and glorification of, self. Taken to the extreme, that’s what a ‘selfie’ is…and it runs so counter to God’s desire and command for His children.

Let me clarify one thing, please. I am not talking about the occasional family/friend/group picture. Those are great, and I totally enjoy seeing them. Even the occasional ‘selfie’ posted to social media is acceptable. What I have become so leery of is the repeated pictures of self that are posted to social media. Five, ten, twenty or more ‘selfies’ in a day.

John, the beloved disciple, said that Jesus must become greater, but I must become less. (John 3:30). Paul emphatically stated that ‘to live is Christ’ (Philippians 1:21).

As Christ-followers, we are called to humble ourselves, look like Jesus, and ultimately, draw other people to Him. If my calling is to point others to Jesus, it is virtually impossible for me to do that when I am so focused on taking a dozen pictures of myself each day so that I, and others, can see my face on social media.

Psychologists have discovered that, taken to the extreme, the ‘selfie’ craze can lead to a psychiatric problem called body dysmorphic disorder, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder. According to some studies, more than 3 selfies in a day might signify a mental disorder. Seriously!!

Hebrews 12:2 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, and Him only. I fear today’s ‘selfie’ obsession places self in the spotlight and dethrones Jesus in our hearts. Remember the definition of ‘idol’….anything that takes the place of, or occupies more of our heart than God is an idol. Y’all, I want my relationship with Jesus to be what other people remember about me rather than endless selfies that point to Leah.

I wonder if it is time for us to examine our motives in the area of ‘selfies’ and social media? Why are we posting selfies? What is our reason for being on social media? As I have done this self-examination recently, I decided that, for me, the right decision was to delete Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat from my mobile device. I’m not saying that decision is right for you, but for me, it was the right move. And you know what? To my surprise, I don’t really miss them. You may recall that my #OneWord365 for 2018 is ‘Christ-like’. I believe that as I seek to make much of Jesus and less of Leah I will become more like Jesus.

I would love to hear your thoughts on selfies and social media. Would you share in the comments?

 

SDG/FCA!!!

 

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Handshakes, Hugs, and Legacy

Two days before the calendar flipped to 2018 I stood among a standing-room only crowd in a tiny south Alabama Congregational Methodist church at the funerals of my husband’s uncle and cousin. On the 22nd of December, 94-year-old Uncle J, 93-year-old Aunt K, and their only living child, 75-year-old E were on their way to dinner near Mobile, Alabama. A woman in a pick-up truck had apparently already side-swiped another car before careening further down the wrong side of a four-lane highway. She hit our family members nearly head on before her truck burst into flames, killing her at the site of the accident. E, who was driving, tried to avoid the truck, but swerved just enough to take most of the impact on her side of the car.

Uncle J died at the scene. E was taken to the hospital where she underwent a couple of surgeries, but eventually died late on Christmas Eve from the trauma. Aunt K suffered a fractured sternum, broken ribs and other non-life threatening injuries. Her body should recover, but her heart is broken from the loss of her daughter and the man she had called ‘husband’ for over 75 years . Before I tap out another word, you need to know that these are three of the most precious Christian people I know.

 

 

Handshakes Hugs and Legacy: It's What You Leave Behind

 

 

As I stood in that church and listened to Uncle J’s nephew on the other side of his family offer the eulogy, I was touched by two things he said about Uncle J and E. As he reminisced, he told those of us in the church about Uncle J’s handshake. It was the handshake of a man who was a Southern gentleman. Firm enough to let you know he was serious about life and his handshake, yet not so firm that it hurt. Uncle J had developed dementia in his later years, yet his nephew shared that the handshake was still there, although it might not have been exactly like it once was. I have long been convinced that a handshake tells you a lot about a person.

While I do not recall ever shaking Uncle J’s hand, my memory of him over the 23 years that I have been part of the family is one of a true gentleman and gentle man who always had a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face. He was a retired civil servant who gave a lot of years of his life to his country. He lived in a brick home in the middle of cotton and peanut fields that he often farmed. The standing-room-only crowd was a beautiful testimony to the love that South Alabama community has for Uncle J, Aunt K, and Cousin E.

My memories of E are just as vivid and precious. She had a smile that would light up a room, and according to many in the church that day, E gave wonderful hugs. Her oldest daughter shared this fact with me in the hours after E met Jesus face-to-face. I can agree with them, having been the recipient of a few of E’s hugs. In fact, Uncle J’s nephew mentioned those hugs in his eulogy, which tells me that E was generous with her magnificent hugs.

If you know anything about me, you know that my jam, my heartbeat, is legacy…the legacy we leave each day for those who circle around our lives. Part of Uncle J’s legacy was his handshake that said he was a man of his word, a man of character and integrity. He was a faithful husband and a loving father, grandfather, and great grandfather. His handshake and life told you that he was a diligent worker and faithful Christian. Cousin E’s beautiful smile radiated the love and care of Jesus to all she met, and her hugs were God’s way of bringing comfort to many people, as well as a sense of being cared for by someone very special. Neither of these folks ever stood on a big stage, spoke to large crowd, or heard the call of fame or great fortune. Yet, they leave a legacy that will reverberate for generations.

Character

Integrity

Faithfulness

Diligence

Love

Joy

Comfort

Encouragement

 

All evidenced by a handshake or a hug.

 

I’d say handshakes and hugs are mighty fine pieces of a legacy, wouldn’t you?

My heart would be so appreciative if you would pray for Aunt K and for Cousin E’s three adult children and their families. I am so thankful that Jesus walks with them on this new journey.

 

SDG/FCA!!!

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Perhaps this post has you thinking about your legacy. You might want to change the life of a child in poverty through a Compassion Child Sponsorship. Please use the links below or on my side-bar to do that. Maybe you want to learn more about creating and leaving a godly legacy. I wrote a Bible study just for that. Click here or the link below to check it out.

My OneWord365 for 2018: It’s More Than I Imagined

For the past several years about the time the calendar flips to November I begin praying over what word the Lord will give me to be my #OneWord365 for that year. I pray eagerly and expectantly, knowing that whatever word He gives me will have great significance for me in the coming year. Without fail, I have found blessing as I press into the word He chooses especially for me.

 

When Your OneWord365 Is More Than You Can Imagine

 

 

Here are a few of them from past years:

2012 – Trust

2013 – Jesus

2014 – God gave me 2 words – Loss and Others

2015 – Renew

2016 – Rest

2017 – Come

 

Once again, I began praying in early November, asking the Lord to give me a word for 2018. He was very quiet for several weeks, then in early December a few words bubbled to the surface. The first was reconciliation, then compassion, followed by gentleness, humility, and contentment. I asked Him to confirm if any of those were to be my OneWord365 for 2018, but the confirmation never came. Mid-December rolled by, then Christmas was staring me full in the face. Still nothing concrete, although to be honest, I was terrified that humility was the one. Really, who in their right mind wants the Lord to have to work humility into their lives? Not me. I’d much rather do whatever it takes to adjust my attitude and heart to one that is humble rather than forcing God take me to the wood shed to do it. I know how much God hates pride, and I also know that He will do whatever it takes to rid the heart of his child of it. It’s that ‘whatever it takes’ thing that worries me!

But, I digress.

Last week Greg and I were in Orange Beach, Alabama for a few days for the funerals of two precious family members. The first morning we were there, I was outside exercising and talking to Jesus. I resorted to begging the Lord to give me my word for 2018. In my heart I knew that if He chose not to do so there was a good reason and that I would bend my knee to it. However, I really love having a word that speaks into my life each year.

My conversation with Jesus that morning went something like this:

Lord, would you please confirm to me what my OneWord365 is for 2018? Is it humility? Reconciliation? Compassion? Gentleness? Contentment? Or maybe it is something else? I want so much to know what word You are giving me for the upcoming year. Please help me to have a heart that is open and willing to hear.

Within minutes, I had the answer. My #OneWord365 for 2018 is a beautiful word that blends humility, reconciliation, compassion, gentleness, contentment and so many other words. Some of my words in the past have scared me half to death, but not this one. It calms my heart and pours peace into it. This word holds sweet promises of a closer walk with Christ. That is not to say that there will not be some work happening in my heart because of it. Oh, yes, there will be! Yet, I know the outcome will be so much better than I can even imagine right now.

I am excited to share with you that my #OneWord365 for 2018 is:

 

Christ-like graphic OneWord365 2017

 

As the Holy Spirit molds and shapes my heart to become more like the heart of Jesus, I will see a new humility birthed. I’m certain that more compassion, gentleness, and where necessary, reconcilation, will be evidenced toward others in my life. There will be a sweet contentment in my heart. I know there will be paths that the Lord and I will travel because of this word that I cannot even see right now, and I’m eager to go with Him. Gosh, y’all, ‘blessed’ does not even begin to describe the feelings I have over my word for 2018.

What is your #OneWord365 for 2018? Please share it in the comments, and if you have written a blog post about it, I would love for you to link to it via the comments.

Happy New Year, friends! Be blessed!

SDG/FCA!!!

 

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All In One Place…Most Popular Posts of 2017 at LeahAdams.org

It’s the end of the year. 2017 is almost history, and quite frankly, I can hardly believe it. While some days moved as slow as molasses, others flew by. Can you relate?  On the whole, 2017 flew by with moments of joy and moments of intense sadness.

Today I want to take a moment to collect in one pile the most popular posts of 2017 here at LeahAdams.org.

 

Most Popular Posts of 2017 at LeahAdams.org

 

Overall, I wrote much less often this year than in the past, but some of the posts were still very popular. So, without delay, may I offer you a listing of the 10 most popular posts (by total number of views) of 2017? I’m giving you the graphic from each post. If you desire to visit the post, simply click on the graphic to be taken to that post.

Number 10

 

Leaning Into Sabbath

 

Number 9

 

Is the Rapture a Real Thing?

 

Number 8

 

I Used Accountability to Get Rid of Negative Talk and You Can Too

 

Number 7

 

When All You Want to Do is Quit

 

Number 6

 

Bible Study Methods 7 Way in 7 Days

 

Number 5

 

Authentic Being a Stand-Out Christian in a Shut-Up World

Number 4

 

Come Away Retreat

Number 3

I know these two graphics are the same, but the posts are different. I promise.

 

Come Away Retreat

Number 2

 

OneWord365 When God Uses a Word to Rock Your World

 

And the Number ONE post of 2017 at LeahAdams.org is………….

 

Day I Realized My Words Were Poison

 

 

I am so grateful to each of you who stop in and read. I pray that God has, and will continue to use what He gives me to write to bless and encourage your walk with Christ. May God’s presence be you in these waning days of 2017 and in 2018. I look forward to meeting you here in the New Year.

 

SDG/FCA!!

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Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

 

 

Are you still looking for a 2018 planner to help organize your life? I love my Passion Planner and I think you would too. Click the link below or HERE to check it out.

 

Merry Christmas!

Dear Reader,

Merry Christmas! I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to you for being here. Your presence is a gift to me, as is every comment you leave or email you send in response to something the Lord has given me to write. Whether you are a long-time reader or this is your first time to join me, the fact that you are using your time to visit LeahAdams.org blesses my heart. Thank you.

Today we celebrate the birth our Lord, Jesus Christ! My prayer is that you know Him as your Lord and your Savior. He is my very best friend, my confidante, my guide, my strength, and the place where my heart is at home. If you do not know Jesus as Lord this Christmas, may I share with you a few reasons why I would recommend Him to you? Go HERE.

May this day of Christ’s birth be filled with the joy and wonder that His presence brings.

Emanuel! God with us!

 

Merry Christmas!

SDG/FCA!!