Everything they do, they do to be noticed by others. – Matthew 23:5a
Taking selfies challenges me. I struggle making sure the camera is facing the right way while looking up into it because I’ve been told that’s the best angle. Regardless, my selfies usually look as if I’m wondering if I’m taking the shot correctly, which I’m usually not. Why is the camera always looking up my nose?
It’s tough worrying about how you’ll look. It’s also tough making sure you’re in every picture. Why take a breathtakingly beautiful shot of the Grand Canyon, but insist on putting yourself into it?
Jesus chided the self-righteous Pharisees for being selfie-obsessed. They did things in order to be seen and noticed. If they could, they would have taken a selfie of themselves as they made their offering in the synagogue. But…we can do the same thing unconsciously at times. When have you done something good for someone, or made a sacrificial gift to a good cause, and thought to yourself, “Look at me, I’m doing something good”?
It’s good to do good, regardless. But Jesus’ model is to love and care so much for the welfare of another, and for thanking and honoring God, that our ego vanishes and we’re totally focused outside ourselves.
Maybe it helps if we remember why we’re other-focused in the first place. “We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19) sums it up nicely. We’re empowered to love because we owe everything to God’s selflessness on our behalf. God loves us purely for ourselves and doesn’t say, “Look at me, I’m doing something good.”
Each time you do a good thing, flip the camera perspective to look outward and thank the God you see through the viewfinder.
If only I could figure out how to do that on an I-Phone.