By: Lynn Cowell
“What was your biggest struggle in high school?” It has been two years since Katelyn graduated and I wanted to see how she saw things now that she was out. Her reply: “All the energy I spent, and sometimes still do, trying to project and keep up my ‘image.’”
Facebook, MySpace, texting, outfits, hair styles, room decorations, cell phones. They all say something. So with careful planning, you create the image of who you want to be; whether that image is truth or not.
Recently, Tyra Banks was dragging it all out in the open. Her panel on the show that day was made up of young teenage girls. The topic: Sexting. The surprise guests: their mothers. My two daughters and I watched as fifteen, fourteen and even thirteen-year-old girls talked very frankly of the explicit language and nude pictures that are regularly exchanged between teens. Why? Attention. Attention that they didn’t get by being themselves. Attention that they did get when they began to project a different image.
What about you? What image are you portraying? Is the gal at the supper table each evening the same gal on the MySpace page? Are you one girl when you pray to the Lord at night and a different one when you are texting in the dark? Is each outfit chosen and each stray hair put in place to make sure that others will want to hang out with you?
In Acts 5, Peter was being pushed and pulled by those around him who called the shots, the guys who determined who was in and who was out (they had so much power they could determine who would live and who would die!). Peter’s answer to these dudes was, “It is better to obey God rather than men.”
Now you may look at this image control deal and say, “It is not a matter of obeying God or not. You are taking it too far.” But I challenge you to take a second look. Are you being truthful? Are you projecting the same person around your parents as around your friends, as around your coach, as around your teachers? Are you being the real you or are you trying to be someone else? And if you are projecting two different images, why are you?
Jesus knew some guys who were really into trying to create a great image. In Matthew 23:5 He says, "Everything they do is done for men to see” (NIV). Later in verse 28 He says, “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Maybe you are embarrassed about your faith. Standing for something when everyone else is falling for everything is beyond hard. Yet in 2 Timothy 1:12 Paul challenges Timothy, “…Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (NIV). I believe that includes our image!
So, I challenge you, look at your life through a new lens. Does each aspect of your life reflect that you are an ambassador of Christ as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:20? If not, ask yourself “Will the real me stand up?”
For more encouragement on this subject, visit Lynn’s blog: www.HeIsThatIntoYou.com.
© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Labels: life matters