Following Jesus In A Self-Centered World

Have you ever taken a “selfie?” When I was growing up, no one turned the camera on themselves. Most of the pictures taken today are selfies and then posted on some type of media. Now we live in a “Selfie” absorbed world. If you are in a group picture, you know you look for yourself first, we all do.

However, any pictures we take today can be filtered to make the image much better than what it really is. Because we portray a filter with things, the less authentic we actually appear to be. Technology and social media are changing the way we interact.

How is technology changing our relationships?

There are a lot of good things about this new technology though. For instance: we can “face-time” with people who don’t live close. But there are many unintended consequences and here are a few:

People are starting to fear unfiltered communications.

There is an entire generation that is fearful of not showing their best self. Very few people talk on the phone anymore, they text. When doing this, it makes us in control of our response. We either answer right then or wait until a more convenient time.

Most 18 to 25-year-olds don’t like talking on the phone at all. This is all about filtering what is said when it is said, and how it is said. They have total control.

But what does the Bible say about authenticity? 2 Corinthians, Chapter 3 is a reflection of when Moses ascended to Mount Sinai and he received the 10 Commandments. When he came down off the mountain, his face was glowing and he put on a veil to cover his face.

Read in the New Testament, the reason Moses put on the veil was to keep the people from seeing that the “glory” was starting to fade away. It was like “putting a filter” on the picture that he wanted everyone else to see. In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wanted the Corinthians to know how much greater the New Covenant was than the Old Covenant.

2 Corinthians 3:13 – unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. (Verse 14) But their minds were hardened. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament because the veil is taken away in Christ. (Verse 15) But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. (When the Old Covenant was read in the Sanogogues, there were unbelieving Jews who could not see the truth.)

2 Corinthians 4:4 – whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe…

22 Corinthians 3:16 – Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 

However, by nature, most are not transparent people, they are insecure. We try to cover up our faults in front of others, and most would rather conceal their sin instead of confessing it also.

So, what image of ourselves do we show other people? Are we authentic all the time? What image do we portray to others? Is it the real you?

I think this is especially true in the church. People want others to think they are the best of Christians all the time when in reality they don’t follow any of Christ’s ways outside of the church building.

A veil that first covers the face eventually covers the heart.

What starts as a superficial covering, becomes a spiritual condition. If people are not going, to be honest with themselves and others, they more than likely will never be honest with God in their relationship with Him.

There is an entire generation growing up that has no idea who the real self is. When they are eventually exposed, we see the anger that reaches rage. They have tried to hide behind a veil for so long that when they finally are exposed, they fly into a rage. I’ve seen this in teenagers and adults.

Christians come under pressure also to prove they are so spiritual all the time when their real world is falling apart. Why are there so many people today afraid to show who they really are? They are afraid others may not like the real them. They fake their true personalities because it’s so easy on social media. They may have over three-hundred friends on facebook but in reality, only two friends that truly know who they are. But when they post something about themselves, or a “selfie” they get hundreds of likes and all these people telling them how pretty or great they are. This meets their immediate need for attention. They may impress people through their strengths, but they should be connecting through their weaknesses. We connect when we are open and honest with first ourselves and then others.

If you find yourself living behind a veil, go to Christ because He is the only One that can remove the veil. 2 Corinthians 3:16 – But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 

The person doesn’t take the veil away, Jesus does it after turning to Him. But a person must turn to Christ first and stop pretending. Turn away from the “Me” and turn to Jesus. When our identity is in Him, we can stop looking for approval from others.

Don’t be obsessed with what others think of you. How about being obsessed with what God thinks about you. He’s the only approval you need. Surrender to Christ and He will remove the veil. We are not who others say we are, we are who Christ says we are.

2 Corinthians 5:20 – Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

We are the light of this world and are filled with the very same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead!

When the veil is removed, suddenly we are authentic, transparent, not trying to be something we’re not. The true person God created us to be will shine through!

 

 

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