If you have not yet been warned, then consider this a good warning:
Overzealousness, ignorance and lack of regard for safety of self and others while taking selfies may result in grievous bodily harm or even death. At other times it may be totally disrespectful and even immoral if done in the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong attitude.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3)
Just because the whole planet is okay with selfies does not mean that you too should be okay with such things. I’m not saying that all selfies are bad. Some are good infact and capture the nostalgia of the moment. However, there are many selfies that are downright dangerous. I mean people actually put their lives and even of others on the line to obtain their precious little selfies.
There are people who take selfies at the edge of a cliff while ignoring the fact that one misstep while taking the awkwardly timed selfie might mean certain injuries and even death if things go even more wrong. There have been instances that people taking selfies while driving their cars have immediately gotten into a car crash and have not walked out alive!
If one has to choose between an outrageously dangerous selfie and a plain vanilla selfie, it’s actually wiser to avoid the dangerous version, even if you don’t the likes you want. Getting a million likes on Instagram is the same as getting a million dollars in Monopoly, it doesn’t actually do you good in the long term in the real world.
Put your love for family and friends above your love for selfies
Never risk taking a selfie if your friends or loved ones need immediate help to save them from danger. It is not worth risking their lives for your 15 minutes of fame. First save their lives, then get into a safe location with them and then only click a selfie without harming or insulting anyone.
Those who truly love you will never want your love of selfies bring any harm even if you intend to make them happy and laugh. So don’t let them be in a situation where they later need to feel sorry for getting the selfie done.
Have regard for your own life when taking a selfie
Just because you might be a fast runner doesn’t mean you provoke a horde of bulls or even a pack of wolves and let them run after you; while you take a selfie with them in the background. Want to prove you are a hero, then why not join the army or navy? But then the question comes as to why do you want to prove yourself to people who’ll just see your selfie today and three days later forget about it.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
One must ask oneself, if taking a selfie will really improve one’s self esteem or simply get into a continous cycle of pleasing people. One must also ask, if this selfie at so and so place is really worth risking life and who are the people who’d miss oneself if the selfie results in disaster?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Remember your life is precious to the Lord God. So don’t waste it on trivial pursuits that are foolish. Know when to take a selfie and when not to. And then you will for one thing, still be in one piece.
At the time of World War Two, various churches in England such as the one in the Streatham district of London, would allow warnings on their notice boards about impending air raids. This saved a lot of people over there from the wickedness of the Nazi Luftwaffe (air force), as they took shelter when they followed the signs of the warnings. They knew the French had suffered thousands of human casualties because the Nazi air raids. As a result the preacher’s did what is right. Those churches didn’t have preacher’s fearful of ‘offending’ their flock of church goer’s. Because they were focused on defending the people. They knew the lives of their people mattered more than their being in a false sense of security. Obviously they didn’t sugarcoat their warnings either.
If they could issue warnings for physical things why can’t we issue warnings about spiritual dangers? Is not a temptation to adultery, very dangerous to the married person’s relationship with his or her spouse? Then should not a preacher warn the people about the evils of adultery? Is not drunk driving something to be preached against? Then should one ever get embarrassed about warning the people who need to hear about such things? No, need to be shy nor fearful at all. The below verses confirm this:
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity,but you will have delivered your soul. (Ezekiel 3:17-19)
Ezekiel would as per God’s will, speak the word of the God to the people of Israel as and when it came to him from the Lord. The above verses also show that the Lord God expected his prophet Ezekiel to warn the wicked one’s so that they could repent of their wrongdoings and escape the judgement of God. So, Ezekiel was into saving lives! If you warn other’s in the right context you can inspire them to truly repent and believe in the Gospel.
If any gospel does not warn people of the coming struggles, but only focuses on having a blessed life, this gospel has been cheapened. The recipients of this gospel message may not be ready for hard trials, and could fall away. (Robert Brownell)
Any preacher who is too scared to warn the people about challenges to their following the Gospel, is not doing prudent service to the congregation. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable to God! Such a preacher needs to get off his high horse of people pleasing and start acting like a real preacher.
Now is this an accusation against all preacher’s? Definitely a no. But there are certain gullible preacher’s who are doing big disservice to their own flock. These are the one’s who need to get their act together. The Holy Scriptures confirm that people will be so depraved that they will even get teacher’s to suit their own ways of life. Here we go:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into muss (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Do not be so crooked that you get you are influenced by the words and opinions of the people instead of honoring the Word of God. Do not be so cowardly that you only want to hear of blessings that you can receive but want to do nothing if any warning needs you do something right. Never become nor act like the type of depraved preacher or the depraved congregation mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
The fact that you could continue to read till here shows that you don’t have itching ears to listen to compromising teachers. Congratulations dear reader on this!
There’s a good number of people all across the world that mentally shut off if the preaching they hear is warnings instead of precious little anecdotes and fables. (The Gospel tells us to be child like but not childish!). One of their tactics to avoid warnings is to keep begging the unsuspecting preacher to make the sermon more simple. Now if the preacher doesn’t seem to see past their vile scheme he will simplify even an already simple sermon. Slowly they’ll ask him to simplify things more so that they understand the way of God in a kinder way. But in fact the kindness they want is that they want to stopped being told to stop committing certain sins and foolish things they often do. These blatantly ignore the fact that Jesus Christ himself warned people many times. They also avoid the fact that Book of Revelation is full of serious warnings about the future.
A bit about balance in preaching now. Only preaching warnings from the Gospel is not preaching everything it says. One needs to also speak about the love of God, the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, works of charity and kindness in the life of the believer in Christ. One ought to preach about praying for each other. One needs to know that the church doesn’t stop at the local community level but instead all across the world the church exists. Also that the church is not the property of any particular set of people but rather it’s the body of Christ of whom Christ Jesus is the head.
Do preach the Gospel in its entirety. And also be willing to hear the Gospel in its entirety. Why only stop at the Gospel’s? Be of good faith and give honor to the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This way you’ll be surely pleasing to God.
Christ be with you!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.(Ephesians 2:8-9)
Firstly this post is not about avoiding sending prayer request messages to each other. Nor is this against sending Bible verses or words that encourage people to follow the Lord God even better. Now, without further delay, let’s get to the main thing. I’m done with certain weird messages that I noticed get passed around too often online and offline. Usually I used to just ignore such messages and the people who indulge such things but then I eventually began to rebuke or correct those people who fall for spiritual chain messages. The one’s who attend very formal overzealous churches are most gullible to such propaganda! One may have heard of emotional blackmail. But here’s spiritual blackmailing.
So here’s how such spiritual blackmail chain mails look like:
1) There’s been so and so miracle by praying for 7 days. If you love God you will pass this but if you love sin you’ll keep it with yourself.
2) Many year’s ago, an angel appeared to so and so ‘devout’ person and gave a ‘miraculous’ prayer.(They then post a longish prayer which one’s supposed to recite). Now on the next page, they write ‘publication of this prayer must be promised to receive the miracle’. But they also put dire warnings of impending doom for those who don’t print or share the message in its entirety.
3) Pray the following prayer. (another prayer is added with even kneeling down or lying flat on your face recommended when praying that!) If you want this prayer to succeed please pass this to 20 more people or else you are a sinner and will receive God’s wrath on yourself.
Dear reader, if you’ve been sending or forwarding such messages, I’d recommend that you read Ephesians 2:8-9 for yourself. Read it many times if you want. You’ll realize that all the while the messages that forced you to forward them to other’s were not as per the word of God. Will you again think you are to pass on such messages? I’d say never fall prey to such hypocrisy that you emotionally and spiritually trample down people by passing such messages.
In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. and therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. (Luke 12:1-3)
If you receive such chain messages do not forward nor share them. Because it won’t add to nor earn you salvation. Also if its possible to reply, go on and send them back Ephesians 2:8-9. But do be polite not rude.You can even send them the following verses:
But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will. (Acts 15:11)
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)