And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities,

Hebrews 10:24

Photo by Humble Lamb on Unsplash

Some have in recent days taken it upon themselves to stir up a storm of raunchy videos; women, many of them have somehow been convinced that recording themselves dancing naked, and seductively in dim light, and then broadcasting those videos on social media is empowering. When you think about it though, there is a sense in which it is actually empowering, but what is of concern is, what kind of power?

What kind of power does a person procure by deliberately stirring up illicit desires in others? If a person derives their power from stirring up something as corrosive to the soul as lust is, such a person in essence seeks the sobriquet, the Tempter. As a permanent subscriber to the manifold grace of God however, one is in no place to denounce anyone in terms reserved for the devil himself. Indeed, many of those jumping on the challenge are just deceived, and in dire need of liberation.

What kind of power does a person procure by deliberately stirring up illicit desires in others? If a person derives their power from stirring up something as corrosive to the soul as lust is, such a person in essence seeks the sobriquet, the Tempter.

Moreover, if you dwell on the matter a while, you might come to realize that, this #SilhouetteChallenge is just the latest episode of man’s sinful bent towards exhibitionism. Whether it is the Pharisees that want to perform their piety for public applause, or the pressure to broadcast every detail of a trip abroad, a new car purchase, or even lunch at a swanky restaurant, where the pictures are more satisfying than the meal: you might admit that the human (yours and mine) hankering for adulation is a widespread addiction.

There is a void in every man that can only be filled by the unconditional love, and acceptance of God. Unfortunately, rather than accept God’s unconditional love as what defines our worth, and desirability, many, even professing children of God live life as a constant striving to eke out the paltriest sense of worth from public acknowledgement.

There is a void in every man that can only be filled by the unconditional love, and acceptance of God

The problem with adulation addiction however is that, like every other drug, we need higher and higher doses of it, to get the same high. And so what we are seeing in episodes like the #SilhouetteChallenge is not empowerment at all, it is actually an anguished, and silent cry of utter powerlessness, as people, like unthinking junkies, surrender to any new trend that promises the meagrest public notice. And that’s all there is to it. As Jesus said in Matthew 6, all the exhibitionist can get out of his exhibition is the audience’s acknowledgement. There is nothing more.

The problem with adulation addiction however is that, like every other drug, we need higher and higher doses of it, to get the same high.

The sadder part of these trends is to watch how people who should know better witlessly jump into Satan’s carefully crafted vortex of lust. Believers are not challenged by and do not challenge others to wax wanton. Believers are called rather to challenge, provoke, stir, stimulate, incite others “to love and helpful deeds and noble activities” Hebrews 10:24.