By Josh See
I recently found myself reading an article about a picture of an iceberg that had flipped over. Most of us know that only 10% of icebergs are visible above the water. What most of us probably don’t know is just how majestically beautiful they are underneath. I also read an article entitled, “An Open Letter to All the People Writing (And Sharing) Open Letters About What’s Wrong with The Church.” This article made some great points about what the church is, and who we are as Christians.
Something that I have been thinking about recently is our identity in Christ and the world’s perception of us. Very often we, as Christians, let our view of ourselves align with how we perceive that the world views us. We tell ourselves that we have to live a perfect life to be a Christian. At the very least, we try our hardest to portray that our lives are flawless while we stuff our perceived shortcomings in the closet. We think everyone else holds us to a higher standard, and we feel obligated (as good Christians) to meet that standard….all in the name of Christ! Our purpose becomes to portray what we think Christ looks like instead of letting Christ mold our lives into what it should look like. So the world gets to see what we have effectively made an idol in our lives instead of an all-forgiving Savior.
Here’s the truth….we’re all the same. We were created by the same God. Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” The difference is that, as Christians, we believe that God has paved a way through an endless map of an uncertain future. He’s the light at the end of the tunnel. The answer to all of the world’s unanswerable questions. But when it comes to living in this world, we are just as fallible as any other person. Why do we try to hide that fact? We WILL fall and fail. It’s an inevitability. This doesn’t mean that we cease continuing to be as Christ-like as we possibly can be, but, in essence, we need to understand that there is very little of that action that we control. We control the decision to strive after this feat, but that’s the end of our control…or at least it should be. Once we make that decision to continue to strive to be more like Christ, it is Christ who works in us and through us. But this is a complete surrender of ourselves. Something that many of us are scared to do. And this is where the title of this post comes in. So many times we think that the world can see Christ in us, even though we have covered Him up with all of the junk that we have wrapped ourselves in. What the world tends to see is a person that is saying they are “different,” but they surely don’t look like it. They see everything that we put on the surface, when what should be seen is the beauty that lies underneath. A beauty that has been molded through the years and through the currents of this life. All of the jagged edges. All of the craters. All of the broken pieces. All of the things that have molded your life. All of these things made majestically beautiful through Christ who remembers them no more. What is left is a person that is just the same as any other person out there with brokenness in their lives, but has been washed and made new.
So the next time you find yourself sliding into the easy path of flawless portrayal, make the decision to flip that iceberg over to let Christ show the world what He has made beautiful. Don’t pretend that you somehow figured it all out on your own and continue to cover the beautiful person that you are. The beauty of Christ can and will shine through you…you just have to make the choice to flip it over.