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Snapchat Dysmorphia

Daily Reading: Matthew 23

Scripture Focus: They do all their deeds to be seen by others. (Matthew 23.5)

Devotional Thought: I read an interesting article recently. It seems that some young people are developing something called "Snapchat Dysmorphia." They want to change their appearance (plastic surgery) to look like their filtered and edited selfies. It is a symptom of the social media world, where people capture and post pictures and videos of whatever it is they are doing. If you are around it, you soon get the impression that these selfie-driven people are more interested in sharing the moment than experiencing it. It's almost as if they are doing "all their deeds to be seen by others." Wait, that's our scripture for today!

Jesus indeed dealt with people who were more interested in appearances than reality. There were religious folks - the scribes and the Pharisees - who had lost all the joy of their religion because they were doing it for all the wrong reasons - for the response of the group, and not for a relationship with God. Jesus revealed the emptiness of that way of living.

We've all seen it, and probably (if we were honest) done it ourselves: performed a good deed, put on a spiritual face, or practiced a spiritual discipline with an eye on others' eyes - to see if they are noting just how good we were! The competition to appear spiritual is just as fierce as the competition to present the perfect image of ourselves in social media.

What can we do about it? Psychologists recommend that patients with "Snapchat Dysmorphia" be treated with psychological interventions like therapy and medication. For those who have "Spiritual Dysmorphia", the treatment is to repent of our pride, humble ourselves, and ask God to purify our hearts!

Prayer: Father, forgive me for any pride that I have a tendency to display in spiritual endeavors. Help me, like Jesus, to "empty myself" and become a beacon that points to you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 94.16-23

16 Who rises up for me against the wicked?

Who stands up for me against evildoers?

17 If the Lord had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

18 When I thought, “My foot slips,”

your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

19 When the cares of my heart are many,

your consolations cheer my soul.

20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you,

those who frame injustice by statute?

21 They band together against the life of the righteous

and condemn the innocent to death.

22 But the Lord has become my stronghold,

and my God the rock of my refuge.

23 He will bring back on them their iniquity

and wipe them out for their wickedness;

the Lord our God will wipe them out.

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