Image Crafting Vs. Knowing Christ
November 5, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
I recently read an online article that proposed a theory for why Generation Y (born late 70s to early 90s) was so unhappy with life. There were multiple parts to the theory, but the part that caught my attention was what the author called “image crafting.” As the name indicates, image crafting is the task of creating an image, via social media, to broadcast to one’s friends one’s sense of happiness, satisfaction, and success in life. While the images crafted and broadcasted may not be untrue images, they typically do not contain the whole truth.
The unhappiness for Gen Y comes from comparing one’s reality with their friends’ crafted images. It’s an unfair comparison.
Image crafting is not necessarily unique to younger, social-media-using, generations. We are all susceptible to putting forward incomplete stories about ourselves in order to garner praise, approval, and acceptance from others. In this sense, image crafting becomes an idol, an alternate means of “salvation” (btw: if, in your thinking, salvation relates only to a rescue from hell, your understanding of salvation needs to grow). Our desire for praise, approval, and acceptance is rooted in fact that we were created to enjoy fellowship with our Creator. Sin has broken that fellowship and our desires go unsatisfied. Ironically, temptation and sin drive us to satisfy those desires (albeit in anything but God) while steering us away from the one who satisfies.
What’s the medicine for our “image-crafting” ways? Knowing Christ. As Paul says in Philippians 3:7-8, “Whatever gain I had [i.e. image-crafting], I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Image-crafting (and all idolatry) loses its strangle hold on our hearts when we cling to Christ as our salvation. Jesus has borne the guilt of our sin. Jesus has made peace with God for our sake. Jesus has provided reconciliation for us with our Heavenly Father. Jesus has opened the way for restored fellowship with God.
Jesus makes Zephaniah 3:17 to be true for us: “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Praise. Approval. Acceptance.
This is what Paul calls “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.”
What’s more valuable to you today? Knowing Christ or the image you can craft? What captures your heart?