12-03-13 © AleksandarNakic, courtesy of iStockphoto

In this photo, it’s almost like Santa believes the lie that Christmas is about him – not the One for whom it is named. But, we shouldn’t be surprised. We’ve created that monster by how modern society celebrates Christmas and promotes selfishness.

This was the year of the selfie. The Oxford Dictionary announced selfie as the 2013 International Word of the Year. Everyone did it.

The New York Post recently ran a front-page article entitled “Selfie-ish.” It displayed a woman snapping a self-portrait with a background of a suicidal man about to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • We live in the calloused age of the selfie.

The hullaballoo includes teens capturing their mugshots with dead grandparents in the background. At bloody auto accidents. With severed heads. All to show themselves off.

  • People seem oblivious to their surroundings.

Even President Obama received criticism for his inopportune group selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. (Although the picture doesn’t portray the story as some see it.) Whether one views it as right, wrong, or indifferent, it’s still part of today’s culture.

  • We live in a society where it’s all about me.

That’s why reality shows exist. That’s why Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites thrive. That’s why the modern millennial will die without a smartphone. (That’s supposedly the argument, but the world will never know since they all have one.)

  • But selfishness isn’t limited just to our time.

John Flavel assessed in his day that household gods were man’s own self. He said that in the seventeenth century. If he believed that in his generation, what would be his critique of us in this new millennium?

Selfish pride is probably the worst it’s ever been. But since Adam and Eve took their first bites of the forbidden fruit, life’s always been about what enables each individual to be his own god (or goddess).

In the last post, we discussed how the people in Bethlehem had to hear Mary’s screams of agony. The townspeople weren’t ignorant of her plight. Yet, no one helped this poor teenage girl. They lacked empathy and compassion.

A man is called selfish, not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.

~ Richard Whately

 

  • The question is: are we any different?

 

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

~ Philippians 2:3, NKJV