Even though Sprite was technically telling us that image was nothing, drink Sprite, they still created an image. An "I don't care what I drink, I just drink what pro basketball stars drink" image. They wanted you to think drinking Sprite would make you cool. Image.
Our culture is obsessed with image. Everywhere you look people are branding themselves, dressing to look the part of something they find cool. You want people to think something of you or about you when they see you. I'm no exception to this.
I like to dress artsy, I want you to think, "That girl must be something cool, like a writer, artist, musician or something. Does she shop at Anthropologie?" I want you to think I don't try too hard, when I secretly spend too much mental energy picking out what I'm going to wear... to the point it haunts my early morning dreams.
I hate the idea of wearing something that could accidently distort the image I try to carefully craft. What if this outfit looks frumpy? What if I look too sporty? What if I look lame?
You can find this sort of mentality everywhere you look. Magazine covers, television shows, movies, books, blogs, individuals on the street. Either they are invading your subconscious with a more stylish image than you could ever hope to be, or they are straight up telling you "5 Hot Looks for Your Summer."
I'm in a Bible study right now with women from my church. We are reading Beth Moore's book "So Long Insecurity." The book convicts me more than I would like to admit. Our obsession with the image we portray, whether it is based on our looks or talents is a best friend of our insecurities.
We think that an image that accurately portrays who we want to be or who we think we are will make us happy, and it never will.
Last Sunday we watched a video about the persecuted church. We saw images of Christians who had been brutally beaten, Christians who had terrible scars from lashings and acid. All because they followed Jesus and wouldn't deny His name.
That video hit me so hard. I worry about my appearance, and these brothers and sisters are infinitely more beautiful because of the scars they bear for Christ. They are suffering now, but when this life, this life that is but a breath passes away, they will reign with Christ in glory. How much more satisfying is it to work for eternity, than for the things of this world that pass away from season to season?
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." 2 Corinthians 4:7-11
"So that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our bodies." There is an image that we should bear above all others, the image of Christ. Let's lay aside the images of this world that so easily ensnare us, and become lights for Jesus. May Christ always and forever be our identity.