Everyone who reads this post has a fatal flaw. The mission to fix it is undertaken by very few. Why? We like our fatal flaws. We love characters from the page to the stage to the screen because they are like us: flawed and conflicted. But a simple solution exists and Christmas is part of it! (Yes, it’s August…see PS below sign-off!)
You and I have an image problem. It is our fatal flaw. What do we do about it? We perpetuate it. Follow this trail:
- Dr. Spock (1950’s & 60’s) Build your child’s self-esteem, self image (much more could be said!)
- I’m OK, You’re OK – the 1970’s & 80’s (let’s build each other’s self esteem, self image)
- Adoption of Relative Truth (1990’s forward) No absolutes. White House: It’s just sex. An image problem?
- Full Post-modern society and thought – Political correctness run amuck.
- Challenging or correcting almost anyone is out – it might harm self-esteem (that image problem)
What happens when our mission is to reinforce our image problem? Just turn on the news to hear about leaders who keep telling lies (no corrections wanted or needed) and citizens with a lack of respect for themselves or their neighbors. Current events are a predictable result of not addressing our image problem.
Christmas addresses our image problem. I have said many times that Christmas is the original mission story. A mission brings a solution to a need. A mission crosses cultural boundaries. It also addresses economic issues. And a mission restores hope and purpose. The coming of Christ (Christmas) did all of that. Notice:
- Cultural – Holiness came to sinfulness
- Economic – The Wealth of heaven supplies the destitute (that’s us)
- Restoration – Jesus came to give life, and that more abundantly (purpose)
OK. Where’s the proof? How do I know we have an image problem? How do I know it’s fatal? If it can be proved then we have work to do! Before I give it to you, I want to make sure our Father gets credit for the good He always does. He very often gets a great deal of blame for stuff He didn’t do. His simple solution, and the reason for Christmas, is something we find in the book of Genesis. I know, you thought the Christmas story was in Luke!
Statement 1 – Let Us make Man in our image (Genesis 1:26)
That was spoken and done in a state of perfection. God made everything perfectly – no flaws. He made Adam and Eve perfectly – no flaws. They were in His image. What’s the problem? There isn’t one until they chose to sin. THEN everything changed. All of Creation was infected with sin – it became flawed. It was not longer what God created. It was/is broken. Give God credit for making a perfect world. Don’t blame Him for the one we live in! That’s our fault.
Statement 2 – Adam had a son in his own likeness (Genesis 5:3)
There’s the problem! That’s our fatal flaw. Adam’s image is flawed and sinful. We can’t fix it by ourselves. In fact, we don’t really want to fix it because we like building our own self image. Don’t think so? We have been trying since Genesis to make God in our image. We want a God that doesn’t demand too much, doesn’t condemn what we like, etc., etc. That’s not an image problem, it’s an impossibility!
Christmas is God’s billboard on life’s highway:
You can have the perfection for which you were created!
He said: If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away and all things are made new!
Now THAT’s a makeover mission anyone could get excited about! Know someone that doesn’t know it? Go tell it on the mountain, or your street corner.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Image really is everything after all!
Think about it. 🙂
PS: This post originally appeared in December 2014. I was preparing for the website change-over and ran across this post. I think the cultural observations are more relevant today than they were then! And…the Christmas decorations will be in the stores in a matter of days. So think about this post when you see them! (And please pray for the website makeover work.)