“Here’s Looking at Me”
Someone has calculated that the average millennial (i.e person born between 1981-1996) takes some 28,000 ‘selfies’ annually! That’s 76.7 daily, or one every 18.7 minutes — day and night! Indeed, a fascination with “self” is a sign of our times… end times. Writing young Timothy some two millennium ago, Paul warns,
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (2 Tim. 3:1-4).
To be a lover of self is a “terrible” thing in these “terrible” times because self is the root of all the other evil things listed. Evil things are “selfish” things. Money is loved for things one can acquire to self, the power it can grant to self and the prestige it can feed one’s ego… one’s self. Boasting and pride are most certainly about self, and abuse, disobedience and ingratitude all stem from a heart that seeks self above others. Self is unholy because it is filled with self; there is no room for that which is divine. Self is without love, except for itself, which is no love at all but is idolatry.
Self seeks only its own glory, it cares not to forgive for it notices no offence or repentance in another. It’s gaze is inward only. Self slanders for is seeks to rise above all others and when it cannot it seeks to tear all others down. Self cannot control self for self-control requires submission to one higher and self will have none of that. Self is therefore brutal, cares not what is good, only what is pleasurable. It is treacherous and rash for it stops at nothing to get what it wants and get it immediately. Self is oblivious to its own conceit, as a fish is to the ocean which surrounds it. Self loves only its pleasures and turns its back to God.
What a contrast to Agapé love, the love of God “shed abroad” in the believers heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). As Don shared with us last Sunday, this sort of love, God’s love… “is patient… is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” This sort of love, Agapé love, “does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” God’s love “…does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This sort of love “never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8a).
Look to Him; He’s looking at you.
We cannot truly know love at all until Christ reveals His love to us.