These people are springs without water and…. (2 Peter 2:17).
There are many people who are “springs without water.” Their lives are characterized by outward appearances. They live for the praise and approval of people. Their lives are an empty, plastic shell. There is no depth to their lives because they would never dare to take you beyond their plastic shell and into the depths of their real self.
Sometimes, even though I know I am filled with the love of Christ, I live like this. My heart feels tempted to impress others, so I don’t share my own brokenness for fear of judgment or looking “less Christian.” There have been seasons in my life when I have lived not in the deep end, but in the shallow end where it feels safe. The area where I can project to others an image instead of a person with real issues, pain, and struggles.
Yes, this is me, a woman who desires to be made new in Christ, living a life of transparency, who also struggles with wanting people to like me. Thinking the way to do it is by becoming an attractive person. Yet, what I have found what draws people in is not an outward appearance, but a beautiful heart. The only way to show others your heart, with all its scars that are being redeemed, is by removing your shell and sharing your life.
This doesn’t mean that we share so that we can get people to coddle us and make us feel better about our messed up lives. This is hidden pride wrapped up in a low-self image. No, we share so that we build bridges between others and us. We share because as we do the spark of the gospel lights within our hearts, drawing others in as they see a real person, not a plastic image. A real person with issues, who desperately wants to be made more like Jesus, but doesn’t always get it right.
So, how are you coming off to people? Are you living a plastic life? Are you acting as a spring without water, making sure your outward appearance looks good when inwardly you’re struggling deeply? Maybe its just me, but the older you get, as you grow closer to the Lord, you can spot a plastic person. We all struggle daily against sin. We are not exempt just because we claim the name of Christ. Yes, we have the Spirit who gives us victory as we overcome, but we are foolish and prideful to think that we’ve got this thing all figured out.
What the world needs is not one more Christian acting as though their life is all put together, but a redeemed sinner who shows the love of God through their heart that is being made new. Yes, a heart that is still messy. Yes, a heart that still struggles against sin. No one is above the rest. We all are in desperate need of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, why do I sometimes live as a plastic person? Why do I live in the shallow end instead of showing my true self? A redeemed sinner, being made into the image of God who struggles daily against sin? Yes, I know in you I have victory, so please, in my struggle against sin, show me where I am not walking in victory, so that I might allow you to prune me so that greater fruit can abound, in Jesus name, Amen.