Shallow Christianity: The Projection of Perfection

…a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else…. (1 Sa 9:2).

I have often made the mistake of categorizing people based on their physical attractiveness. It comes naturally for us, because of the sinful bent of our hearts to do this. We look for ministers of the gospel who are attractive outwardly, with a big, flashy personality. We are not quick to look deep into the heart of an individual saved by grace. However, it is the heart of the person loved by God that we learn from. If there be anything good within it, it is only because of the grace of God that fills that person through a broken and contrite heart.

Israel looks for an attractive king to lead them. God gives them Saul, a man who outwardly was very handsome and tall to boot, but inwardly his heart was full of pride. He even loses his father’s sheep, showing his inability to shepherd well. This made no difference to Israel though, because, they wanted to be, “like all the other nations.”

Outward appearances are easy to keep up. We can do our best to project to others a perfect idyllic world that we live in. However, this is not reality. The pursuit of this type of mentality is shallow. Shallow people cannot open up their hearts fully to love others well, because they fear being fully known. I know this because I used to live there. I used to live in a place of projecting to others a perfect world, a perfect life because I’m a Christian and I’m not supposed to struggle, or so I thought.

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I soon found out, after being called out by some dear friends that shallow living is not gospel living. Gospel living invites others in. Gospel living says, “praise God for His grace, for me, Heather, a sinner.” Gospel living sets the believer free to walk in the power of a new life, no longer in condemnation, free from the penalty of sin and death. Gospel living sets an individual free from the projection of perfection.

We can never fully understand the gospel until we are willing to walk away from perfection. When we do this, we find ourselves in the one who is perfect. We can share with others of His grace because we have tasted it for ourselves.

Find no king to lead you other than the Lord Jesus Christ. His kingship guides you onto spiritual paths of righteousness, never toward hidden paths of piousness. When we allow others to see our true selves we start living in light of the gospel. There is no fear in being known fully. There is freedom in transparency through the cause of Christ. When we are willing to share our own brokenness it opens the door for others to do the same. Then, the right king starts to lead us. It is in His name we find our peace, joy, and purpose, in Jesus name.

Lord, be the only king who leads me. Forgive me when I give people more value based on their outward appearances. Sometimes, the most attractive of people can be the ones with the most shallow hearts. Help me to see beyond physical stature and into the hearts of people. Help me to see people as being made in your image. I want to love them with your grace. God, forgive me when I forget to give the same kind of grace that I would want to others, in Christ’s name, Amen.

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