These are the pictures we post and see on our social media feeds.
These are the pictures you won't post:
Humans have always been good at covering up their less desirable sides. Adam and Eve were industrious in making apparel to conceal their nakedness. Today, we are outfitted with a complexity of "fig leaves" called Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
We are masters at only showing the good sides. We only project our success, popularity, or accomplishments. We conceal our loneliness, anxieties, and embarrassments.
As Christians, we ought to be OK with an explicitly sober assessment of our lives.
After all, our Lord has seen it all.
In the gospels, Jesus encountered:
In every instance, Jesus is not repulsed. No matter how bad, arrogant, or shameful the person. He knows who they are.
He meets them where they are.
He stays with them.
Here's a old Latin phrase:
Essa quam videri - To be rather than to appear.
I regularly obsess about how I appear. What do people think of me? How can I get people to like me? It seems juvenile, but adults graduate to more advanced forms of these very simple questions.
I keep returning to the gospel - that I am truly known by God in Christ. I am loved, even when he knows the worst of me.
Many people know how you appear. God knows who you are.
If God knows who you are, there's no sense in keeping up with appearances.
And never take a family Christmas picture in a four-person sweater (see photo above).