The trend of extreme selfies has proved fatal in far too many cases. An extreme selfie is a mobile phone photograph taken by someone of themselves in a dangerous position or situation. The intention is to make yourself stand out within the constant stream of social media. Such people are deluded martyrs for the false god of self. It appears that more have perished in this way than through shark attacks. Some have pursued self-promotion to a tragic grave through selfies taken at the wheel of a car or in other less extreme situations.
Yet there are many dying for the idol of self who never take a fatal selfie. They serve this idol with such fervour and dedication that they perish in this sin of idolatry. They seek to gain their life, a life of self-glorification and honour but ultimately lose it. Social media is often used as a vehicle to glorify self, though it does not have to be so. The temptation is always there in some form, however, and we should watch carefully against anything of this nature in its subtlest forms.
There are, of course, many other ways in which self is served and worshipped.
Self-glorification was the sin to which Adam and Eve were tempted. “Ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Yet they found that the way of self-exaltation was the way of death. “Pride goeth before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18). It is a sin that Scripture identifies with times of rebellion. Men shall be lovers of their own selves rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:2). They worship the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). How foolish it is to worship that which can only exist by God’s power and goodness instead of God Himself.
The Lord Jesus Christ, as the second Adam, demonstrated supreme self-denying sacrifice in humbling Himself to take our nature and being obedient unto death. He offers Himself and His finished work of redemption freely to sinners without exception. He calls those that will come after Him first to deny themselves Matthew 16:24). They give their own selves to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:5). This is a mark of grace, of humility particularly. Moses could have chosen to serve self but he denied self to follow Christ (Hebrews 11:25).
Is that you? Or are you dying for self, still flattering yourself in your own blinded eyes until at last the hatefulness of your iniquity will be unavoidably exposed to you (Psalm 36:2)?