Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Life as an avatar

We've all done it.  We scour the web and our computer files looking for the perfect picture to use on our profile.  Some picture that sends just the right message, an image that defines who we want to be...at least for the moment...to everyone who happens to get a glimpse of our online presence.  Obviously, I like to be known as the edgy guy with supposed to be purple but somehow looks pink hair.  Hair that I am very proud of and love telling others why I did it.  Well, my hair has grown back to its natural color now but you cant tell that from my profile pic.  Why?  Because my natural hair is not as edgy of course!

Even if you saw me face to face, chances are I'll still have on a sort of profile pic.  I'll be sporting my avatar around every quasi-acquaintance I come into contact with to promote an image of myself that is, well...false.  Only those who really know me will know I'm a fraud.  I think it is in our nature behave like this.  We are fake and we don't even know it.  Maybe it's because we actually believe the lie ourselves.  Maybe it's because we hate who we really are, or were ashamed of what people would think if they got to know "the real me".  Or maybe we are just deceptive at our core and have become conscience-seared habitual liars.  Either way, I don't think there is a person alive who has escaped this tendency.  We've altogether become a society of avatars.

So how can we overcome such debauchery?  Surely Jesus was the most real dude that walked the face of the earth, right?  No guile in Him whatsoever.  Some things we know about Christ is that His appearance wasn't all that favorable.  He may have been downright homely looking.  He never spoke well of Himself before others in order to paint a picture of Himself that could be projected as their impression of Him.  What Christ did was work and He let those works speak for themselves.  He let those works speak for Him.  His works defined who He was and is.  We are told that He increased in the favor of both God and men.  Even during the missing years of Christ's life we know that people liked Him because of what he did.  Not just people, but God.

All the masks and facades we put on are all the manifestation of our sinful flesh.  The only way of escape is to live as Jesus lived by the same power that Jesus lived.  The power I'm referring to is Divine Life.  God's life in us, lived through us, to share life with others.  Going out and doing good works may be a good thing, but we will still be doing them for the wrong reasons.  We may increase in favor with man by that path but we will not increase in God's favor.  Instead if we live and work by the indwelling life and guidance of our Lord Jesus, His works will speak for themselves.  People will rise up and say that is a "godly bunch of folks right there" because the works they see will actually be God's works through us.  The only room for boasting will be the boasting we do in the Lord.

So let us burn all our masks and be satisfied with an appearance that may not be America's Next Top Model.  Let's go to Christ and learn to live by His indwelling life so that our works will speak for themselves.  May we always be working because Christ is always working and have good reason to look forward to the day when we may hear "well done my good and faithful servant" from the lips of our Father and creator as we take shape into the image He has made us in, His image.  As we leave behind our self life and live by Christ's (who is THE image of God) others can look upon us and our works as the living works of God and by them see the glory of God Himself.

Now go and be His Body, (but take off that silly mask first).

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