has it really come to this?

i’m sitting at my desk staring at a can of sunkist. there’s nothing like reading the nutritional information and ingredients to make you rethink reaching for that soda. what’s funny, though, is that i would never have thought to read the label had i not noticed the little advertising plug on the front saying: “orange soda, with other natural flavors.” natural flavors. ha! would someone please do me a favor and explain the difference between natural and unnatural flavors to me? if something tastes like dirt, is it a natural flavor? i think i need some clarification here….

it’s funny how we as Christians fall into that pattern sometimes, though. we cover our imperfections in attractive packaging. often times, the area in life that we try to dress up the most is where we fail the most. the sad thing is, no matter how much we try to sell ourselves, the image will always collapse under the slightest scrutiny if there is no underlying substance. and more often than not, we don’t have the character to back up our blustering. it’s easier to talk than to change.

if you will permit me to poke just a little more–we tend to come down the hardest on other people in areas where we know we fall short. it’s the old adage, “those who can’t, teach” in a vicious life application. for example (hypothetically):

  • i hate about myself that i struggle with indecision, so i scornfully zero in on anyone who shows the slightest bit of hesitation;
  • i like to try to manipulate the lives of others around me, so i always suspect everyone of trying to control my life, even when they’re just making a simple suggestion;
  • i secretly struggle with an addiction to immoral internet sites, so i soundly chastise the girl in my youth group who’s admitted to reading a harlequin romance novel;

and so on. (laugh if you want, but one of which i’m frequently guilty is ranting against spelling/grammatical errors of the “their/they’re/there” variety–that is, until i make them, myself). we make excuses for our shortcomings even as we judge others. we slap the secrets under the church label and pray nobody will look too closely.

unfortunately (but really, fortunately), Jesus told us that what we say in secret will one day be shouted from the housetops. our pretty labels will fall away, our clever packaging will crumble, and we will stand before the One who we never really fooled with our feeble masquerades. it’s better, then, to fall on grace and seek to be clean before He pulls back the curtain.

may Jesus make you transparent and faultless in His eyes today. no one else’s opinions really matter anyway.

bless you all!

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