Today’s post may be a repeat for some of you, as it was a post I wrote for the Testify blog before the content was lost. Since I no longer write for Testify, I’m posting it here for those of you who may have missed it. I’ve spent the whole weekend editing photos, so it seemed appropriate for today.
The digital age is pretty fascinating, isn’t it? We can be in constant communication with each other, have our finger on the pulse of the global community, stay in touch with family, and promote ourselves in any forum we wish. There are definitely positives to be found in all of that.
On the other hand, we are also able to recreate ourselves in ways that just haven’t been possible before. I, for one, have always been one to shy away from cameras. Okay, that’s putting it lightly. I have gone to extreme lengths to avoid having my picture taken. Why? Because I have always been ashamed of my appearance and pictures have a way of emphasizing my worst qualities. But not anymore! No, with the birth of Photoshop and digital cameras, anyone, and I do mean ANYONE, can be a supermodel within minutes. No more fat rolls, no more pimples, no more dark circles under the eyes. That’s great, right?
When I was asked to be a contributor at Testify, I jumped right in. I was nervous, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Until, that is, they asked me for a picture. The very thought of it made me nauseous. But I had to do it, so I swallowed my pride and had my husband take a few shots. The only thing keeping me sane about the whole thing was knowing I have some decent Photoshop skills so I could edit out the bad stuff. Problem solved.
Or, not so much.
Photoshop may fix the flaws and create the image we want people to see, but the problem arises when we have to step out from behind the computer monitor and actually, you know, MEET people. At that point, there’s no hiding behind an airbrush or a little “nudge” here and there. At that point you have no choice but to be genuinely you, at least physically. How can you have genuine relationships with people who get to know a fictional version of you before you ever meet? Hiding your flaws, or pretending to be someone you’re not, might just be the very thing that keeps your best qualities from shining through, and allowing you to relate to the very people who’d love the chance to care about the real you.
Truth be told, this applies to our everyday lives and our walk with Christ. We can put on a show for those around us, we can pretend to be spiritual, we can memorize scripture and spout it at people until we’re blue in the face. We can filter out the stuff we don’t want them to see, and present them with the perfectly edited version of ourselves. But God? He’s not fooled by “photoshopped” personalities, He’s more of a Polaroid kind of guy. He sees you as you are at any given moment, with no opportunities for post-processing. Trying to fake it with Him takes a lot of time and effort, and for what result? The fact is, while we’re wasting so much energy trying to paint the perfect image, we are not allowing ourselves to be…well…ourselves! We are missing out on the relationship with Christ that comes from being real and raw and allowing Him to work on our flaws. Not only that, but He created each of us, just as we are, with a purpose, and we may never fulfill that purpose unless we let ourselves be exactly who He intended us to be.
So what is it that you are working so hard to hide? And how might it be keeping you from fulfilling your purpose?