Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A Well-Scrubbed Version of ME, part 1
In today’s world, technology offers us a unique view of one another. I’ve recently been wrestling with this. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I seek to live my life consistent with the beliefs that I hold from Scripture. There are times when I live incredibly empowered by God’s Spirit. There are times that I stumble and fail. I try to keep short accounts with my wife, short accounts with my brothers, and short accounts with Jesus.
None of this is really where the rub is, hopefully none of this should land as a surprise. Here’s where I’ve been wrestling lately. On my Blog, on my Facebook pages, in my messages, I’ve been offering the “well scrubbed version of me.” So, while I believe that today’s technology offers a clearer view of KNOWING one another from a distance than has ever been possible before, I also recognize the potential for hypocrisy that exists. That’s why I’m calling it out. And because confession is good for the soul.
Here are a few ways that I scrub myself: PHOTOS.
The photos I post are typically selected from whole rolls of less exciting photos, and rolls and rolls of photos that picture me in an combination of unflattering, confused, and rather typical expressions. I try to scrub the boring out, so that a viewer might think, “It must be an amazing adventure to be a part of that clan!” It is and adventure, but not nearly as exciting as pics might suggest. I also choose to post pics of myself that make me look confident, strong, or handsome (Theses pics are more of a challenge to find).
I share a ton of family STORIES.
Those are typically the stories that make my kids sound like theologians, my wife sound like a patient genius, and that make me sound like a great dad, a great husband, and an all around great guy. They are all true. But what is also true are the stories where my kids fight like kids, where my wife is tired and short, and where I live closer to dolt-ness than to great-ness. I scrub the counter-balance, and so opinion is naturally prone to tip towards a too-favorable view.
Even my FAILURES are scrubbed. For example, I might share a time when Jodie was looking for help cleaning the house in preparation for the arrival of guests, while I was upstairs playing Galaga (yes, we have the old arcade version of Galaga, and yes, I am the MAN at it)…and I pretended that I couldn’t hear her calling. And that “confession” might actually make me sound more holy…like, oh look, even Mike gets a bit selfish sometimes. But I’ve scrubbed out the other times during the same weekend that I was already acting selfishly, and how frustrated that must make my wife, and how selfishness is something that I consistently battle to my great chagrin. (This paragraph is intentionally hypothetical, but I’m hoping you get the point. A small, safe confession scrubs me too clean.)
Here’s the last truth: I’m not changing the tactic of scrubbing. I truly don’t think Blogs or Status Updates are the best place to do deep soul-work, nor the best places for gut-level confession. I don’t suggest that to you, nor will I walk that road. But I do want you to be aware of the scrub.
Just knowing brings us closer to Jesus. And I guess the challenge is, for me and you both, to live more and more like the scrubbed versions of ourselves…
The truth shall set you free.
I’d love to hear how YOU scrub…