People of my generation (myself included) can’t seem to post a picture without putting a fancy filter on it. Whether it’s through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter apps, or even just on the iPhone itself, no picture feels complete without adding a little tint to it.
Why is that? Why don’t we think a normal picture is good enough anymore?
These days something must be done to spice the photo up and make it more eye-catching. The more professional and artsy the picture, the more views and the more likes.
After all, what good is a photo if it doesn’t garner a lot of likes on social media?
(If, through some magical grace of Mother Nature you’re able to get a great picture without a filter, this is cause for great bragging and celebration.)
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. Technology today has offered the most amateur of photographers the ability to easily enhance their photographs.
But I also think this says something about us and the images we present to the world.
The picture our friends, our coworkers, and our families see of us is filtered. We airbrush any imperfections. We want to get more likes, so we make our picture as pretty as possible.
As Jesus pointed out the Pharisees in Luke 11:39, we wash the outside of the cup while ignoring the inside.
This becomes a problem when we find ourselves too focused on the opinions of others rather than working on the underlying problem of sin in our lives.
Yet, as Psalm 51 teaches us, when we surrender our lives to Christ we can be washed whiter than snow. When we find our identity in Christ we don’t have to put a fake filter on the picture of our lives anymore. Instead we can present our true selves, content in the unconditional affection of our Savior.
The beautiful truth we must remember and cling to in our moments of doubt is in the Insta-Grace of God. The forgiveness we receive for the sin we hide from the world is instantaneous and all-consuming.
When we are set free from finding the perfect filter, our lives gain new purpose. No longer do we have to exhaust energy on hiding our sin from the world. There is better work to be done.
Let God wash out the inside of your cup. Stop fixating on the picture the world sees of you. You don’t need a filter anymore.