The sermon at my church this morning was absolutely fantastic. I loved it. The preacher spoke on a subject I hadn’t thought much about before – hyper-reality.
For those of you who don’t know, hyper-reality is what the world – America especially – believes is what we should all aim for. Basically; perfection.
And as we all know, perfection is unatainable. Not that we shouldn’t strive for it – Jesus was perfect, and we should try to be as much like Him as possible – but we all know that no matter how hard we try, we will never, ever be perfect.
I’m sure most of you have seen this Dove commercial, but watch it again anyway to see what I mean.
You start out with a pretty girl-next-door. Sit her down. Cover her in makeup; do her hair. Then, you photoshop her until she doesn’t even remotely resemble herself, and voila! She’s on a billboard and we think THAT’S what we’re supposed to look like.
Look at this picture.
This is Lindsay Lohan…
What you see on the left is not real. The right is real. She is a cute girl-next-door – not some airbrushed/photoshopped/professionally make-upped supermodel.
Supermodel Cindy Crawford was once quoted as saying “Even I don’t wake up in the morning looking like Cindy Crawford.”
We are struggling to reach something we can’t attain. Hyper-reality is everywhere now, and there are good examples everywhere you look.
One good example the preacher brought up was Facebook. Now please don’t misunderstand me – I really like Facebook. If it weren’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t have had all the opportunities for art and writing and making REAL friends through getting to know them on Facebook that I have had. (That was a confused sentence; but you’ll figure it out).
But think about it. On Facebook, we can come across as whoever we want. We can be witty, funny, sexy, adorable. We only post the best pictures of ourselves so everyone thinks we’re gorgeous all the time. We can create our own alter-ego over Facebook, and nobody is the wiser.
Now hopefully I don’ t do this. I DO know that I come across a bit different typing than I do speaking, but I honestly try and be myself. (My problem is that I can say things to people over the internet that I would never say to their face. I did this once, and regret it. But hopefully I learned my lesson).
There’s one song by Brad Paisely called “Online” (I wouldn’t recommend listening to it, he swears). But it was actually a very realistic song. Here are some of the lyrics –
I’m so much cooler online
So much cooler online
I get home, I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack
I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up my Mac
In real life the only time I
Ever even been to L.A.
Was when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade.
Online I live in Malibu
I posed for Calvin Kline, I’ve been in GQ
I’m single and I’m rich
And I got a set of six pack abs that’ll blow your mind
And what’s sad is that it’s so true. People put up fronts, try to be what they believe is perfect, even though we all know (or SHOULD know) that perfection is impossible. The world offers us a plethora of ways to behave like someone we’re not, and it can be a deadly trap to fall into.
Don’t think that you’re not good enough. You want people to love you for who you are, not for who you pretend to be. You want them to love something real and not fake. I know you hear ‘be yourself’ all the time, but it’s very true. Be who God created you to be, and don’t try to morph into something else. Because God is the father of Truth, Satan the father of Lies – and whose child do you want to be?