Death By Self

Another tragedy unfolded last month along the cliffs of the Rock National Lakeshore Park in Michigan. A hiker stopped to take a selfie and fell to their death some 200 ft below. While the death toll is small, it appears that at least 54 people have now died taking selfies with about 5 deaths added per year. These losses are not in the same category as fatalities via heart disease, cancer, or automobile accidents. They cannot be listed as medically related or suicide/homicide. Instead, it seems that people are dying, howbeit few in number, by self-entertainment.

The incidents are occurring during what is called “Selfie-gaze.” Millions of people now engage in day trips and vacations for the single purpose of taking pictures of themselves at specific locations. Some pay up to $45 per pic for photos at unique sites. It has been verified that the “cloud” which stores information of individuals and businesses alike hosts mostly pictures. Cell phones are more for camera and video use than for making phone calls.

This small communique will not allow me ample space to tell the whole. However, the perilous times that Paul spoke of declares people being “lovers of their own selves.” More directly stated, among the perversions of mankind are people who love themselves.

It’s a far cry from the days of David who said, “I looked to the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord.” Moses looked up and saw the mountain of the Lord. He did not see himself. God said, “Look to me and be ye saved.” Yet, today we are literally looking at ourselves.

In spiritual terms, I call it “death by self.” Self-engrossed people make excuses for why they do not attend church faithfully. They tell of their “important” duties and plans. Self-sufficient people talk about their resources and abilities. The proud boast of their reserved ways and the arrogant see their strength. Churches are even promoting the philosophy of self-actualization, which is rooted in humanism. Death by self entails no serving; no sacrifice; and certainly no commitment.

Paul said, Philippians 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Then Paul related that this was the mind of Christ; that Jesus saw our need and not His own comfort. He would not have died for us had He considered Himself. Likewise, we will not reach our world; give of ourselves; make sacrifices and worship if we keep ourselves in mind. We must break free from the bondage of self. There is a cliff and many have already fallen and died by the venue of self. That is why the Spirit is calling for a sanctified church, void of the flesh. Romans 8:13 “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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