What Does Your “Soul Selfie” Look Like?
23 Apr 2017
Visit any social media site like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat and you’ll see the evidence of our obsession with physical appearance (leading many women to life threatening surgical and skin lightening procedures). Songs about selfies are being sung all over the world from America to Africa. In fact, you can find hundreds of videos on YouTube on how to take the perfect selfie.
As Christians, are we investing as much time in searching our hearts to see how we’re reflecting the true picture of Christ to others as we are in taking the perfect selfie? How often are we stopping to take a “Soul Selfie”—a snapshot of the state of our soul? I recently heard two pastors share their thoughts on the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead that had me thinking about how we live our lives.
When we think of Lazarus coming out of the tomb physically bound from head to toe, we should put ourselves in his shoes and imagine how our heart and soul look like to the Lord when we stay bound to things of the flesh, after He’s given us new birth. The new birth in Christ we experience is our first resurrection from the dead; not a physical death but a spiritual death. The only way we can live lives that reflect this new life in Christ is by being careful that what we say, think and do and making sure that it reflects Christ in us.
This means being mindful about what is in our heart (the soul). We’re reminded to guard our heart, in Proverbs 4:23 for everything we do flows from it. Several times Jesus spoke out against the Pharisees for following the letter of the law for the sake of appearance, and not the heart of the Law. This means that we should guard it from vices such vanity, judgment, self-righteousness, pride, anger, unforgiveness, jealousy, envy, greed, impatience, and anything that distracts us from being ambassadors for Christ.
Just like the best selfie is the one that we take in good lighting, so it is with our soul—we are at our best when we are walking in the Light of Christ. Throughout the day, we are faced with many tests that can lead us into many things that can block our soul from that light. The tests can come at the most unexpected moments, as I experienced recently.
There I was minding my own business when I received an e-mail from my music distribution company that another company was claiming they had copyright to one of my Zion Daughter and Mbuutu of Uganda videos. I went from confusion to unholy anger in zero seconds flat. I immediately responded and sent the said company a reply detailing how this was my work and how we toiled in the sizzling summer sun dancing while trying to look cute sweating up a storm. Who did they think they were to make this claim? The response they gave: my dispute was rejected.
I realized that this incident was likely a distraction from my focus on a weekend retreat our prayer group was organizing so I asked for prayers, and they worked! I was able to enjoy God’s presence and miracle-working power during our retreat. Shortly after, a message came to me that I needed to be still. It was only at that moment that I could hear God’s direction. Long story short, I searched for more answers and found them. Those answers led to the company releasing their claim of copyright on my video. My anger in the course of the incident led me to judge anyone involved without having all the facts. God showed me just how much more work He still had left to do in me. Judging things at face value is apparently something I’m still struggling with.
When we’re faced with challenges, it’s easy for us to react in the flesh (like I did), but God tells us that we should be in the world but not of the world. Instead of being so obsessed with what we look on the outside, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what we look on the inside, those areas in us that are not reflecting Christ in our lives—even during trying circumstances. Let’s ask ourselves the following questions as we go through our daily activities:
• Who am I when no one (except Jesus…) is watching? As Christians, our aim should be to be as authentic as we’re reminded by the late Rev. Myles Monroe in his teaching on “Character”.
• What am I saying when no one’s listening (especially about others)?
• What am I meditating on in my thoughts? Is it something that will eventually lead to darkness and destruction? This is how David’s sin to commit adultery and murder began. This subject is so important that Joyce Meyer created an entire series on the subject in the Battlefield of the Mind.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a selfie once in a while when we feel how Patti Labelle sang: “I’m feeling good from my head to my shoes…I got a new attitude.” However, what God has been showing me is that we should spend more time taking soul selfies–asking Him to search our heart and reveal to us anything that is not pleasing to him. This will allow His transforming power into our souls so that we can reflect Him more in our lives, enabling others to see the Jesus in us.
Have you had circumstances in your life which have forced you to think about your own “soul selfie”? If so, how did they affect you?