The Danger of the Selfie: 4 Things to Think About Before Posting

    Whether we like it or not, we live in a selfie world. For years now, everywhere you turn, someone new is posting a selfie (or 100!).

    And while there is nothing necessarily inherently wrong with posting a picture of yourself online (I am not beginning a diatribe against all selfies! 😉 ), there are 4 very important questions to ask yourself before posting your next one!

    • What is your motivation?

    This is where we have to begin. We have to check our hearts and determine what our “why” is behind wanting to post a selfie. Are we wanting to get a little self-esteem boost? Why do I want people to see this? Is it so I will receive praise and gain a few minutes of fame? Is it so that people will be impressed by my beauty, my style, my body, my makeup, etc.? Is it to have others look up to me or wish they were me? Or is it so that God will be glorified?

    We are warned throughout Scripture about the danger of pride, arrogance, and selfishness. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” Philippians 2:4 tells us to “look out not only for [our] own interests but also for the interests of others.” Is your motivation for posting your selfie lining up with this instruction from Paul? Or is it stemming from a place of selfishness in your heart?

    • Am I remembering that the internet lives on forever?

    This is a very important question to consider because whether we realize it or not, all that we put on the internet (in any form, including social media!) lives on forever. Days, months, or years from now when you are sitting in an interview hoping for a coveted position that will boost your career, your potential employer could look you up online and quickly find all the selfies you have ever posted. The question to ask is, will what they find, build you and your resume up or tear it down?

    • Am I taking into consideration that anyone can access my photos?

    This question is similar to the one we just asked ourselves but goes even deeper. Oftentimes we think we are safe to post whatever selfies or other content we want because “our profiles aren’t public” or “my account is password protected”. But here’s the thing – hackers and others who do not have your best interests in mind can easily find ways around “private” profiles and “hard-to-crack” passwords. Be sober-minded, be vigilant when considering whether or not to post that next selfie. You will be glad, in the long run, that you did!

    • Is it lifting others up or tearing them down?

    We know we can’t ultimately be responsible for how others may choose to lust after us, and we can’t possibly know what might trigger others and what won’t, but we are repeatedly told in Scripture not to be a stumbling block. Romans 14:13 says, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”

    Jesus said in Matthew 18:6-7, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”

    We all have our own sin natures, our own temptations, our own weaknesses in which we are liable to fall. And that goes for whoever may access our selfies, as well. But while we are not ultimately responsible for how others choose to respond to us and our actions, we are absolutely responsible for our side of that equation – we are responsible for our own actions and what we intentionally choose to do.

    Do not intentionally choose to post a selfie that you are pretty sure will cause someone else to lust after you or that will be a stumbling block to others in some way. That may build up your ego for a time, but it isn’t worth it.

    There truly are so many things to consider before choosing to go onto social media and post that selfie. Selfies in and of themselves are not necessarily wrong or sinful, but they very easily and quickly can become so.

    Check your heart before you potentially post, walk by the Spirit and His leading and direction, and you will be on the right track.

    Rebekah Hargraves
    Rebekah Hargraves
    Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, blogger, podcaster, and author whose passion is to edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood, particularly with an emphasis on the gospel and its implications for everyday life. Rebekah's first book, "Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)" released the fall of 2017, and the "Lies Moms Believe" Companion Bible Study came out March 30, 2018. You can find Rebekah on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, on Instagram, or on iTunes via The Home and Hearth podcast.

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