Words of Worth

For Selfie or for Whom?

November 29, 2013

selfieThanksgiving table talk always proves to be interesting at my family gatherings and yesterday was no exception! One conversation piece, in particular, was about Oxford Dictionaries’ 2013 Word of the Year.  Each year a word is chosen, by the most esteemed guardian of the English language, which is “judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.”  And this year the winner is, drum roll please……


Oxford’s official definition of the word:

“A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

The first known mention of this word was uttered in an Australian web forum in 2002 when a drunk man, who had fallen down, took a picture of himself with his teeth protruding through his bottom lip.  Until 2012, “selfie” crawled around the web largely unnoticed, when suddenly everyone around the world was using the word while snapping pictures of themselves.  Then in 2013 the use of “selfie” increased 17,000%, thus justifying Oxford’s choice of the winner.  Now that word is producing namesake offspring such as “helfie”, a photo of one’s own hair, and “welfie”, a selfie taken while working out.

Interestingly, while “selfie” climbed in its frequency of use and into a prestigious dictionary, the use of the word “whom” has declined by half over the past 200 years and half again over the last 50 and talk is of removing it from the dictionary.  Why not? The correct usage of “whom” is so confusing at times and, after all, the word refers to others and not self.  Can you imagine asking the question, “With whom did you take that selfie?”  That’s so not 2013!

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,…”

2 Timothy 3:1-4

 Interestingly, in every case where Scripture speaks of the last days, it is an exact description of the day and age in which we live.  Paul’s warning to Timothy was that difficult times would come because of what people will be doing. At the top of the list is that “men will be lovers of their own selves” (2 Ti 3:2). Isn’t that an accurate “selfie” of current society? We are encouraged in this day and age to love ourselves unconditionally because it is the foundation of a healthy human personality. However, when our love for self becomes sinful self-love that gratifies our own lusts rather than pleases God, or replaces Christian charity towards others with minding ourselves only, we make way for a long train of sins to follow- covetousness, pride, boasting, blasphemy, and ingratitude.

“Selfie” may now be in a prestigious dictionary and “whom” may soon be out.  But in the only Book that counts, “selfie” is out and thankfulness to God, from WHOM all blessings flow, is eternally in the Word. (Sheryl)

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with WHOM there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

James 1:17

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