sunday's message...and image managment

God has planted a God-shaped hole in your soul. The only thing that can fill it is healthy relationships. But, there are things that prevent us from healthy relationships and healthy community... some thoughts from my blog:

Eight years ago, I heard Marty Grubbs talk about image management. For some reason that phrase caught my attention and wouldn’t let it go. Maybe it was because I had never heard it before. Or maybe because I was guilty. Periodically, over the next few years, I would hear him speak about it again. Every time, I would get an uncomfortable feeling. I wanted to hide. Actually, I realized I was already hiding.

Image Management is a subtle way to bury ourselves. It is a subtle way to hide from others. Image Management prevents us from knowing others and being known.

Marty often talks about his first experience in a 12-steps program. He says, “What I experienced and saw in that group is what I had read about in the New Testament my whole life – yet I had never seen it in a church.” It is interesting to me that in the place, with the people we should be most comfortable revealing our secrets, our pains, our addictions, our sin, our doubts, our … we find it hardest to reveal those things.

In the past couple of months, I’ve found myself drawn to the teachings of Jesus found in Matthew 5-7. In chapter 6 (from the MSG), it says, “don’t make a production out of it…” All too often, I’m making a production out of it. Because I want to hide behind whoever it is you might like. Do you ever find yourself there … hiding … making a production out of it?

One of the places that God works to bring healing and wholeness to us is called community. It is found in a group of friends who know no masks. God’s grace flows in the intimate circle of healthy relationship. And image management prevents true community, healthy relationship.

Are you working to control others’ impression of you? Do you carefully craft your words so that you give off an impression that may not be reality? Are you a name-dropper?

Father, help us to put away the masks. Help us to move beyond image management so that we can know true community, so that we can know others and be known by them. May we know your grace in the safety of healthy relationships with others.

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