by Keri Armentrout
If Jesus walked the earth in 2017, would He selfie? Argue with me if you like, but I think so! In the same way that Jesus climbed a hill so that more people could hear His message, I think He would utilize the connectedness of social media to allow as many people as possible to hear. Perhaps the Sermon on the Mount would be a livestream?!
However, if Jesus were on social media, there would be a few distinct characteristics about how He would use it:
- He would spend a small fraction of His time there. Most of Jesus’ time on earth was spent with His core disciples. He also made prayer in solitude a priority. Any type of online activity would not compete with His face-to-face relationships and would always take a backseat to communing with His Heavenly Father.
- Jesus would never be self-serving. He wouldn’t care how many “followers” He had as far as His reputation was concerned. When the disciples encouraged Jesus to broadcast His abilities in order to increase His fame, He refused. When they urged Him to display His greatness to spite His brothers, Jesus completely dismissed this notion. He spoke of how He had God’s approval and how His was the only approval that mattered.
- If Jesus were online, it would be highly purposeful. His chief intent on earth was reconciling people with God. When communicating to a crowd, His main concern was for them to recognize their desperate need for God and that their attempts to reach God through their own efforts were insufficient.
None of this means that Jesus wouldn’t selfie–there are times when Jesus talked about Himself boldly; there are times when He drew attention to Himself purposefully– always to glorify the Father, always in submission to God’s will for Him at that moment.
So if Jesus were to selfie, I think it would look something like this:
What does this mean for us as Christians?
It means we should evaluate ourselves on social media. God tells us that we are set apart as His children. We can ask ourselves:
- Do I represent Christ in this facet of my life, or have I separated it from Him?
- Do I use it purposefully, or does it use me?
- Is my heart surrendered to God, or am I in the driver’s seat?
To help myself with this, I made an acronym for WHY I use social media:
WHAT is my purpose?
Am I HONORING God?
Is my heart YIELDED?
When first putting this into practice, I made it the lock screen on my phone–just a way to pause and give a thought as to why I’m getting on my phone in the first place.
As a child of God, I’m called to be in the world yet not of the world. This means that I don’t have to shy away from social media, but that how I use it should be different than the norm. The security of having God’s approval through Christ gives me both a confidence and a humility that is not of this world! Why would I hold this back?
These are real life examples of Cru students past and present who #selfie to the glory of God!