I remember growing up as a kid we used to actually laugh out loud. We really did wave. We really did like. We even actually spoke to each other face to face.

I’m not trying to share stories of the good ole times, or start off with the “in my day” stuff.

Just reflecting on some of the social changes that may not be overwhelmingly evident to some growing up today.

Possibly the one thing that gets me most now is the idea of selfies.

To confess, not that long ago I handed my phone to my daughter and asked her to take a selfie of me – which OBVS was not a selfie, but an old fashioned photo.

When I look up the definition of selfie it states that it is a self-portrait type image, typically taken with a smartphone that may be held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick!

A selfie stick!

We even have an apparatus to enable us to take selfies that look like … well, photos. As if someone else ACTUALLY took it.

It’s this practice of selfies, and attention to self, that strikes me strange.

An incredible focus purely on self. In fact, we are encouraged to become self-assured, self-confident, ensure we self-help, seek to be self-guided, and apply self-care.

Unfortunately, this increasing demand of self is leading to us being self-centred, even self-ish.

We are losing the art of community, communication, common good, because we just want to ensure that I am in control, that I am happy, that I am looked after.

Yet in 2 Timothy 3 it says: But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power.

While seeking to improve oneself is admirable, continuous learning, living healthy, and looking after yourself is good. It is not if it is at the expense of everyone else.

As Christians we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves. (Even this gets skewed into focusing more on self first!) That we should put others first, that we should be on the lookout for our community, our family, friends and even beyond.

Can I offer a challenge to those desperately looking into self-help books … rather than focus purely on the improvement of you, look to work within the community and seek that those around you are happy, are joyous, are looked after. It has a remarkably strange way of achieving what most self-help books can only promise.