Gym Selfie: Making Public What Is Done in Private

People have a tendency to make public what is done in private. I’m not talking about confession of sin. Sin grows when privatized and we would be much better off if we brought our sin to light, but that isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about making public the things we do in private.

If you are still confused, go on social media and scroll down for a few minutes. You will quickly know what I am talking about.

We are eager to inform the world that we woke up early to go to the gym, how much we sweat because of how hard we worked, how long of a work day we had, how dedicated we are to do our homework, or how disciplined we are to have our devotional time. Social media is a breeding ground for self-promoters to make public what they do in private.

Let me preface what I am about to say with this. It isn’t always bad to make public what is done in private. The behavior itself isn’t the issue, the heart fueling the behavior is.

It is rare that someone posts a picture of themselves going to the gym without some sort of selfish motive behind it. Majority of people post these types of pictures to either show off, fuel their ego, or gain some sort of affirmation that comes by others seeing, and therefore recognizing their hard work. Each of these motives is a symptom that points back to one single disease: selfishness.

Making public what is done in private is a behavior. Behavior is a reflection of what’s in your heart. Your attempt to make public what is done is private is an attempt to validate yourself. It is an attempt for others to commend you for how good you are. You don’t become more in shape when you post a picture of your sweaty back from the time you spent in the gym. What happens is you continue to develop a very high view of yourself that isn’t accurate to say the least. You enable yourself to think more highly of yourself than you ought to. When someone likes your photo, you take is as affirmation. That affirmation only fuels a fire that burns the coals of selfishness.

Why make public the things you do in private?

Do you really need to post the work out you did to make it count?

Do you need to show the world how long of a work day you had to know you worked hard?

Do you really need to show the world every date you go on to have fun on dates?

Do you really need to show the world how generous you are to be generous?

It is not bad to use social media as a platform to make public the things you do in private. In fact, that is the point of social media. It is a place to socialize online. What is bad is publicizing the things you do in private when the motive behind it is selfish.

It feels good to publicize the things you do in private when you receive validation, affirmation, and recognition from it. The issue is the short-term cure that comes from those things doesn’t heal you; it only contributes to the disease known as selfishness.

 

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