Monday, June 17, 2013

Image Management

This week the world’s eight most powerful leaders gather in the town of Enniskillen, Ireland for the G8 Summit. Summit leaders included President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Dan Keenan, a reporter for the Irish Times, reports that image-conscious town leaders made the decision in preparation for the Summit, “to fill the shop windows with a picture of what the business was before it went bankrupt or closed.”  In other words, grocer shops, butcher shops, pharmacies, etc. placed large photographs in the windows so that if you drive past and glanced at the window, it would look like a thriving business. Keenan reports, “it looks as if the door is open and inside you see a well-stocked shop. It’s nothing of the sort. The door has been locked shut for well over a year because the particular business went bust this time last year.” But it’s an image to make it look as if everything is normal in the town and the county, but unfortunately it is not.

The leaders are hoping to present their town in the most positive light knowing full well there is a deeper reality.

Truth be known, these town leaders are not the only ones who practice cover-ups. I prefer their style when it comes to my own spiritual reality. I too have mastered the art of image management. I try and hide behind the fa├žade of well-managed life. I want in the worst kind of way to cover up the reality of a deeper bankruptcy that stalks my soul. I’d much prefer to present myself to God and others as a well-stocked shop of virtue, good deeds and a bit of my own self-engineered morality. But I know better. My reality, like every other human being, is this: sin bolted the door of my heart long ago. And no amount of image management can cover up this ugly reality.

The Good News of the Gospel is a dual truth. I am more sinful and defective that I ever imagined, but I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope for. Sin is powerful, but it is not all-powerful! Only God is that! The cross of Christ is the key to unlock the most hardened heart, and restore the dignity and purpose that bankruptcy tried to steal away.