Sunday, November 16, 2008

Air-Brush Christians by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

James 5:16
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed..."

Oliver Cromwell, the British statesman and leader of the British Isles, war hero and leader, was posing one day for a portrait. He got up from his seat after the artist had done a great deal of work, and examined it. Then he turned to the young woman and rebuked her, "When you paint me, you paint me warts and all!"

The artist had done a beautiful job of painting Sir Oliver, but it was too good. And I think that little story typifies the kind of the air-brush society we live in. Today you can take an unflattering photograph of yourself and have all the "warts" removed. They will fix your lumpy nose, change the color of your eyes, improve your smile and remove any unsightly blemishes-all with either an air-brush or what we call today "computer enhancement"!

We are a culture of fake people: air brushing our lives, creating illusions, never willing to admit our faults to others. And this is often just as true of Christians. Once you know how to talk and relate to other Christians, it's often easy to give them the impression that you are much more mature in Christ than you really are.

The irony is that true maturity begins to occur when you are willing to confess your sins to others. We're often afraid to be so vulnerable, and yet people always seem to respond with warmth and understanding.

As James 5:16 says, healing occurs when you come to the point in your walk with God that you know you won't get rid of sin by concealing it; you need to become accountable within the Body of Christ. When we confess our sins to God and to others, then little by little we become like Jesus Christ.

Perhaps there is no better relationship than marriage for two people to begin to experience authenticity. There's no air brushing faults and removing blemishes here; it's life, up close and personal. Just like God intended it.

That God will conform you to His image as you make yourself more accountable to others in the Body of Christ.
Discuss: Are you concealing any sins that you need to confess, first to God and then to others?

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