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5 Questions Girls Should Ask Before Posting a Selfie

By: Bethany Beal

I was thirteen years old, loving life, and desperately trying to grab a certain guy’s attention.

After a full week at church camp, I was hanging out in the sports court waiting for my parents to pick me up.

I knew at any moment my ride would pull into the parking, so I had to act quick.

With a knot in my stomach and my eyes on my guy, I made a move. I walked up to Brandon, pulled out my personal wallet sized portrait, and handed it to him.

No shame. No regrets. I wanted him to notice me.

He, being the somewhat sweet thirteen-year-old boy that he was, took my “selfie” and complimented my picture. He responded exactly the way that I’d hoped. He “liked” and “commented” and I was feeling oh-so-good for the moment.

My Heart Motivation

Looking back on that scenario, I so clearly see my heart motivation. My main motivation in giving Brandon my “selfie” was to make me feel good.

I wanted affirmation. I wanted attention. I wanted his approval.

My “selfie” was my way to get what I wanted.

I can’t help but assume that at least some of you can relate to my story. You may not be passing out wallet sized self-portraits (that would be a little bit awkward in our day), but in a much more modern way, you might be doing a similar thing.

Step Back and Rethink the Selfie

Awhile back I came across a selfie of a Christian teen girl.  The selfie was focused on the girl’s body and her face was mostly cropped out. She was wearing a tight/revealing outfit and the selfie seemed to focus on her curves.

I wouldn’t have thought much about the selfie, considering these sorts of pictures are totally the norm these days, but her description left me puzzled. Underneath her selfie, she had several quotes sand verses talking about the Lord and rejoicing in His goodness.

This Left Me Totally Confused

I wondered, “How in the world does a selfie like that help me (or anyone else seeing the picture) focus on the Lord? Is this girl totally clueless, or, is she using the verse to try and somehow justify her picture?”

I wish this picture were an isolated case, but it’s not.

These types of selfies have become so common that I feel like I have to talk about this.

Girls, why are we posting pictures on social media that scream, “look at me! Look at my cute outfit! Look at my hot body! Look at how pretty I am! Look at my cute little bottom!”

We need to take a step back and ask ourselves why we feel the need to chase down attention in this way.

Is our confidence and security in Christ so low that we feel the need to grasp for it through temporary attention on Social Media?

Do we really think that our seductive selfies will point others to the Lord if we tack a verse underneath them?

I think it’s high time we re-evaluate our photo filtering system and our hearts.

Instead of spending hours trying to grab that perfect selfie, let’s take a few minutes to put our posting habits through this filter.

This is what I like to call the “Seflie Heart Filter.”

This filter of questions will help you determine which pictures to post and which pictures to ditch. If your picture makes it through the end of the filtering system with flying colors, I would say post it.

If the filter makes it clear that you are posting to get affirmation and attention (and you are using the picture to attain that) then I would say ditch it.

Selfie Heart Filter:

  1. Why do I want people to see this picture?
  2. Will I be disappointed if I don’t get a certain number of likes and/or comments?
  3. How many times am I planning to check the status of likes on the picture?
  4. Will I be sad if a certain person doesn’t like or comment on this picture?
  5. Will Christ be honored by the way I’m presenting myself in this picture?

If your picture makes it through the selfie heart filter with flying colors, I would say post it!

But if the filter reveals that your heart isn’t in the right place, I would say ditch it.

The “Selfie Heart Filter” Challenge

I want to challenge you to use that filter the next time you are getting ready to post a picture. Don’t just follow in the footsteps of our culture and post whatever you want. Take the picture through each question and be totally honest in your answers.

Looking back on my church camp days, my “selfie” wouldn’t have made it through the filter. I was “posting” to grasp for attention and to make myself feel good. That’s what I wanted. I wanted self to be promoted through the selfie. I want my crush to give me a “like” so I would feel satisfied for a moment.

If you are up for the challenge, I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a comment below letting me know how you think this filter can help you in your future posting choices.



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16 Responses to 5 Questions Girls Should Ask Before Posting a Selfie

  1. Johanna says:

    Thank you for this post…
    I am not a “social-media-activist” but I definitly change my WhatsApp profil picture on a regular basis. People can neither like it or not, but often, I definitly use it to promote me instead of Christ. Thinking of the last week-end flawless wedding photo that I want to use as a futur profil pic and seeing the Selfie heart filter make me realise that it is not for the cause of Christ that I want to use it, but it is to serve my own.
    Thank you to give us a tool that helps us to be realistic about our intentions.

    (Not an english-speaking-person but I’ve tried my best)

  2. Kayla Marie says:

    I’m in! I don’t really post selfies much (I don’t have a ton of social media), but I do change my profile picture. Thanks for this filter! It’s a really good way to find out if we’re posting pictures to honor Christ or get attention. 🙂

    • Haley says:

      Ooh, that’s a really good point: nowadays, I don’t post any selfies, but I do change my profile picture, so this post still does apply to me

  3. Emmy says:

    This is spot-on, Bethany. I just recently got on Instagram and definitely see the seductive selfies you’re talking abou (not that I hadn’t seen any in the past though). And on top of our own selfish motivation to post those kinds of pictures, it can almost seem like a competition or at least a photo fest to post the cutest, hottest pics since all the other girls are doing it. When I got on IG, I resolved not to post pictures of myself simply to get likes and comments of affirmation, but it’s an ongoing struggle. My bio is Christ centered too, so it’s a good reminder of what the focus of my posts should be.

    I thought of two other heart filter questions (although they both basically fall under the umbrella of the 4th question):

    1) Will this edify and encourage my brothers in Christ to purity or tempt them toward lustful thoughts?
    2) Am I setting a godly example for my sisters in Christ (especially younger girls) who will see this?

    Thanks for always pointing us to a higher standard, Bethany! The affirmation of our Lord is all we should desire.

  4. Lauren says:

    Oh, this is such an important question to ask ourselves! This past year, I have consciously made an effort to think about what pictures I post will say about my faith. Will this point others toward God or will it make them wonder if I’m a Christ-follower? Thank you so much for all your honest and thought provoking posts. I am praying for you as God leads you on a journey to encourage your sisters in Christ to not be friends of this temporary world.

  5. K A I T L Y N says:

    I love this!! Thanks, Bethany ❤️

  6. Marivi says:

    I was really blessed by this post. I needed to face up to the fact that I’ve been letting myself slide into indulging those desires. See, right now I’m participating in the Feast from the book Get Lost. And in my particular situation, I had committed to completely cutting contact with someone I had been involved with (we both actually agreed to it) when the Lord put it on my heart to do this feast. Yet, lately, I’ve started using the “My Day” feature on Facebook messenger and it lets you see who has seen your “day”. Each day I would check a countless nunber of times just to know if he watched my day, if he checked up on me. I actuallycaught myself posting things that in my heart were really just for him to see, yesterday. I just didn’t want to own up to it. I need to stop compromising to my desires for him over God’s desire for me to pove Him exclusively and seek Him for all my needs.
    So thank you.

  7. That random girl says:

    If we are confident girls. . .then we don’t need to show off our body to impress people. We already know we look legit and don’t care what the world thinks.

    I hate selfies. They usually look terrible and distort people. Bad lenses. A well taken real photo can capture someone’s outer beauty but selfie just makes you look bad almost every time. I think selfies were made popular by Satan to get us so focused on our image 24/7 and make us feel bad because it always distorts our face. . .I HATE SELFIES LOL.

  8. Angela says:

    So good. I was super convicted by THIS blog to even remove my weight loss progress pics from my blog and social media. I didn’t think anything of them because they are so common but skin is skin and mine doesn’t need to be on the internet even if it’s just to show weight loss progress. Thank you so much for these posts and all that you girls are doing! I am almost done with the Girl Defined. I know you wrote it for younger girls but it is convicting me at 34!

  9. Caitlin says:

    Honestly, if you post too many selfies it makes you look ridiculous. I don’t have social media but my mom, dad, and older sister do and pretty much 99% of my friends do, so I see this a lot. It’s okay to post a selfie once in awhile, but once every day is too much.

    • Tiana says:

      I agree. I’ve had social media since July 2017, and I’ve only posted three selfies. One of them was of me and my brother, another was with me, my brother, and my sister, and the other was of me. But you see those girls that absolutely have to post a selfie every single day and I just don’t get it. People aren’t going to forget what you look like after 2 days of not posting.

  10. Nicole says:

    Thank you for addressing this! I’ve seen that too many times where girls post very seductive pictures then add verses in the description. It makes no sense to me and you’re right; it does not honor God. Thank you for talking about this issue. Selfies are such a prevalent thing in our society, sometimes it’s hard for people to see the issue as it really is.
    God bless!

  11. Zoe says:

    I always find myself going through my instagram or Facebook deleting photos, I really need to have enough strength not to post them in the first place! Loved the idea of the “heart filter” totally going to try this out.

  12. Iriane Trindade says:

    Muito bom o assunto postado. ^_^

  13. Brianna says:

    This is a good post! I can definitely relate. I used to be so vain that it turned into self worship. I had turned my own image into an idol. When I was getting back focused on Christ, the Holy Spirit told me to delete my IG account. And I did.

    It’s obviously not a sin to have an IG account, but for me it was a stumbling block, and I’m glad I listened to the Lord on this one. These past few weeks I’ve been spending more time reading my bible and zero time in the mirror trying to get the perfect selfie. I think the motivation of our posts is key here. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Snarky says:

    Pretty sure god couldn’t care less about some teens selfies…you know if he existed…

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