“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.””
1 Samuel 16:7
We all know it’s not real until it’s on social media – or at least that’s what our technology-driven society would want us to believe anyway.
We post beautifully scripted captions and posed snapshots of our lives – using lighting, angles, cropping, and our beloved filters to gloss over and smooth out the rough edges that disrupt perfection. We allow the world to see what we want them to see – and hope that they can see nothing more.
Yet, we’ve all seen a photo or two posted, where the person didn’t realize that we could see the “hidden” imperfection reflected in a mirror or nearby window. Tell the truth – those photos are hilarious! Or there is the beautifully crafted caption, only to have someone who knows the person in real life, blow the whole thing by making a comment that completely discredits everything that was written before. Awk-ward.
If only there was a filter for real life, right?
Unfortunately, so many of us treat our lives as if we can merely pick an outfit, put on some makeup (slaying that highlight and those brows), snap a pic and throw a filter on it to make everything wrong appear right. We become so accustomed to dressing up our shortcomings and shame, that when life eventually rips off the Bandaid, we are traumatized all over again by the sight of our unhealed wounds.
What if, instead of taking falsified “bestie pics”, we took the time to work on and maintain healthy friendships?
What if, rather than pretending to have an excellent relationship with our Bible and vibrant prayer life (courtesy of our lovely study Bible and journal photos), we actually spent private time with God, letting out an ugly cry or two when needed?
As we continue our pursuit of a life lived lighter, it’s high time we drop the weight of our carefully crafted and curated facades – our decorative but fragile walls we have put up to keep others from discovering our “truth”. We might be able to fool people who don’t know us, but we aren’t fooling anyone that matters. We aren’t fooling ourselves, and we certainly aren’t pulling a fast one on God.
What good is it having a perfectly styled, toned, and contoured outer appearance, while on the inside, we are depressed, discouraged or feel like we’re dying? Be free from the pressure to play pretend. Get real with God, get real with the people who care and keep you accountable, and get real with yourself.
We will have so much more to offer the world when authenticity becomes more important than popularity, and building a firm foundation becomes more important than wearing it.