Selfies and artwork don’t mix. And not just for stylistic reasons.

  • In 2014, a student attempted to take pictures of himself sitting on the lap of a 19th-century statue at the Milan Academy of Fine Arts of Brera; one of the legs of the statue broke off, and the statue was destroyed.

  • In 2015, two tourists visiting Cremona, Italy, decided to stand on a statue of Hercules while taking pictures of themselves; when they bumped into the crown of the statue, a piece broke off and shattered on the ground.

  • In May of this year, a young visitor to Lisbon, Portugal, chose a 126-year-old statue of Dom Sebastian as the backdrop for his selfie. His clumsy attempt at climbing the statue, however, resulted in disaster. The artwork fell from its perch and smashed onto the tiles below.

Many museums are considering banning selfies all together. Can you blame them?

While I haven’t seen broken artwork in church, I have seen much damage done by Christians who are too focused on themselves. When we only think about ourselves and our projects, we run the risk of trampling others and shattering the faith of those around us.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

That’s good advice for life in general, but especially for life in the church. We need to be sure that we aren’t just focused on ourselves, but that we’re thinking about what’s good for everyone.

Rather than selfies, let’s work on our “everyone-elsies”
Paul also wrote:

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up (Romans 15:1-2).

Our goal is to build up, not to tear down. We don’t want to accidentally hurt those around us. So we need to quit focusing on ourselves and do our best to build others up. Rather than selfies, let’s work on our “everyone-elsies.”

Get the picture?

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