Graven Images

Low self esteem, combined with envy toward other people who have accomplished something in life, makes some people create false fronts for themselves, pretending to be something they are not. Social network profiles are full of these projections of false to face images, along with photos of oneself at a much younger age. Somehow for these people, reality as it actually is is just too much to accept.

Society also creates its own yardsticks for self measurement through its created image adoration of sports, music, or entertainment figures – as if there’s nothing else that is important in life except being adored by fans and being in the spotlight. So there are people who believe, “If I’m not one of them, I’m nobody.” This is tragic.

These false fronts are the “graven images” of the imagination created to supplement a non existent and desired “reality based on fantasy”. Some even steal their image from someone else – often the very persons of whom they are jealous, because such persons are perceived as mirrors revealing the absence of this desired admiration. It’s a twisted form of flattery perhaps.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:4). Even the masks we may want to wear to impress others can become objects of worship, false gods that we make, with a narrative spun around these images that is as fantastical as the projection itself.

Sometimes such individuals embrace their own disguise to the point that they are unable to support themselves in life where one might actually need a practical job in order to be responsible for one’s bread and board. This is not a condemnation, but an analysis of a deeper and perhaps very painful issue. It is a refusal to let go of that which is not, in exchange for something that would actually work.

Certainly all have “dreams” about being something else. Especially at a younger age. A lot of people want to be a rock star, so to speak. Yet as life moves along, we may have to face the facts that we either have to modify our relationship to these dreams, or abandon them entirely, especially as the years and the pounds increase! Accepting this reality is a part of life.

Why cling to what is never going to be, or lie about it as if it’s ever been a part of your life, when God has things in the here and now which will, at the end of the day, be far more rewarding than those fifteen minutes of fame? (And by the way, the more anyone remains in the lie they embrace, their self respect diminishes. you cannot possibly live a lie and still have self respect.)

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7). God sees the real truth!

There is a real work of deep healing that needs to be done within such individuals. Like shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean, they need to be salvaged and restored. This is what salvation is ultimately – a spiritual salvage operation which has deep ramifications for your entire life and being. (Note the similarities of the words: salvage, salvation.)

And there is only one Redeemer and Healer, Christ Jesus, Who can accomplish this. Yet the first step is to own up to one’s own ruse, and surrender it like the publican! “God be merciful to me a sinner.” All true healing starts here, in complete and unconditional surrender to the redemption in Jesus Christ. This is the only way to connect with “saving” – salvaging – Grace!

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you.” 1 Peter 5:6

Show up for work, in other words. His work.


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