Today’s Scripture: Matthew 6:16-18
16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
I think there was a selfie problem in Palestine. Not selfies like we know them today of course. Rather, it seems that some people liked to “dress the part” when they fasted so that they would get a lot of “likes”. We are really no different, are we?
A few years back there was a craze on Instagram where you would post a picture of your Bible Reading for the day. Some of these phots got very elaborate and staged with an open Bible, devotional book turned to the right day, and a steaming cup of coffee. #Blessed #QuietTime #SpendingtimewithJesus
I get it. We want to look good to others. It was the same in Jesus’ time as in ours. However, I do think Social media has enhanced this part of our psychology. We may feel like we have a persona we need to project. Or, we just want people to think of us in a certain, perfect, way. And yes, there is something rewarding about getting “likes”. So we stage our pics and curate our lives to present the image we think others will respond well to. The problem is, as Jesus points out, God doesn’t care.
God is only interested in what’s in our hearts – not on our Instagram feed. God’s more concerned with our actions than the way things look. In fact, it seems that Jesus is saying here that we need to go out of our way NOT to draw attention to ourselves. That’s very hard in this day and age isn’t it?
Selfies are not bad. Social media is not bad. We just need to be careful, as Jesus said, to focus on the right things for the right reasons. We need to work on the interior before staging the exterior.
God help us to work on our relationship with you before anything else. Remind us of what is important. And help us not to be concerned so much with what other people think and more concerned with what you think.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Week 6, Feb 8-14; Matthew
Day 26 pp. 311-324 Mat 1:1-7:28
Day 27 pp. 324-336 Mat 8:1-13:52
Day 28 pp. 337-345 Mat 13:53-18:35
Day 29 pp. 345-358 Mat 19:1-25:46
Day 30 pp. 358-366 Mat 26:1-28:20