It was a big deal when the Pope visited America last year. People came out by the thousands just to see him, shake his hand, and get a selfie. As the Pope walked by the crowds almost everyone had their phone out and turned in order to get a selfie with the Pope in it. People are so intent on being the center of someone else’s moment.
We’ve become a “Selfie” Culture. We’ve become a culture that believes we are the most important subject matter in any situation. A selfie with the Pope, a selfie with a bear, a selfie with a total eclipse. We’ve lost the ability to focus on people, places, and experiences without ourselves being more important. When was the last time you were just honored to meet someone important, eat something delicious, watch natures marvels, or experience a moment of magnificence without having to take a picture of you?
Selfie culture says that we are always the main character, not only in our lives but also in the world around us. The self-entitled culture around us is constantly finding new ways to elevate self. Is this the way a believer in Jesus should live? If Jesus were to show up in your town today would your first instinct be to get a selfie with him or to just sit at his feet and listen?
“3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” (Phil. 2:3-5)
Humility doesn’t come naturally to us. Here are 3 keys that lead us toward humility:
1 – “Don’t try to impress others.” So often our social media becomes a highlight reel. We want others to see the impressive vacations, experiences, or purchases we make. It becomes a vehicle to promote us. It’s not often that our social media is used to celebrate others or even foster meaningful relationships. Find ways to use social media for others and not just yourself. Find someone in your life that keeps you grounded to reality and authenticity. Even when it’s uncomfortable, push yourself to be real with others. Admit your weaknesses and needs and ask for help. Wisdom comes from humility not from self-inflation.
2 – “Don’t look out only for your own interests” There’s a world in need all around you. What was your first thought today? Was it about what you wanted, had to do, or desired to accomplish? Self-preservation is our natural instinct. Thinking about ourselves first is something we have to battle. To truly put others first means you have to sacrifice your own agenda. In those moments when we default to self-promoting fight it by looking around at others instead of back at yourself. Valuing others doesn’t mean devaluing yourself but it does mean loving and serving others becomes your priority.
3 – “Take an interest in others.” To truly love and serve others means you need to get to know them. Stop talking about your self and your opinions all the time and start asking good questions. Instead of being so self-conscious about what others think of you, initiate a conversation that’s all about them. One of the most honoring things you can do for someone is to interview them. That means asking them quality questions about their life experiences and views. God modeled this for us through Jesus who took an interest in our needs by coming to our world to sacrifice for our salvation.
What do you think is the attitude of Jesus? It’s faithful. It’s sacrificial. It’s gracious. It’s forgiving. It’s generous. It’s kind. It’s gentle. It’s merciful. It’s LOVE. Jesus modeled for us what it looked like to put others first. Now, it’s our turn. It’s time for us to step out of our comfort zone and take an interest in others. I guarantee you that all around you are people with real hurts, struggles, and needs that you could do something about.
Take less “selfies” and take more notice of others.
This is how the world knows that we are different. When we put others first and love them unconditionally it shows people our connection to Jesus. It is a powerful way to draw people towards faith in God. Our love towards others is a powerful invitation to a new life in Jesus.
So, think of some people in your life right now that you can put first tomorrow. How will you do it? What will you say? How can you show them the love that Jesus has shown you? I promise it will be worth it. In being a blessing to others we truly receive the greatest blessing.