Friday, July 23, 2010

Not Always a True Beauty

One night, about a month ago, I was flipping through the TV channels trying to find something to watch and ran across a reality show called “True Beauty.” Now I’m not much for reality shows, but this one caught my interest - Ten very “pretty people” vying for the title of contest winner and the prizes that go with it. What they don’t know is that their physical appearance and their talents are only a small step to victory because all the while they are being secretly judged on their inner beauty. Each week they unknowingly face challenges devised to show who they really are on the inside. One at a time, they are placed in a situation where they choose, or not, to help another or do the right thing. Hidden cameras capture their true beauty or lack thereof when they think no one important is watching. It’s only when they are eliminated that they are confronted with the video of those moments they thought no one saw. For some of them, it is the first time they see themselves for who they really are and most don’t like what they see. I watched the season’s finale this week when the secret was revealed to the last three contestants. I could see the shame in their eyes as they watched the ugly truth of themselves unfold in the video. Later they each had a chance to plead their case to the judges as to why they should win the contest and all of them expressed remorse over the self-centeredness revealed in the video.

The next afternoon, I was sitting in the hair salon playing a game on my phone while I was waiting to get my hair cut when a woman walked up to the coffee machine sitting on the table next to me. “Which one is decaf?” she asked me. “I don’t know,” I said as I continued to play my game and wondering why she asked me instead of the receptionist who was sitting just five feet away. She figured out which one was decaf and then asked me if I knew where the stirrers were. “I don’t know. I don’t even drink coffee.” I weakly offered never looking up from my phone. Then out of the corner of my eye I could see her shifting back and forth. The receptionist asked her what she was looking for. Just as she said, “the garbage can,” she found it between me and the table. Vaguely aware of what was going on and still never looking up from my game, I moved out of the way enough so that she could throw away her stirrer. I was a little annoyed. All I wanted to do was wait in peace and this woman was invading my space. But then, would it really have been such a big inconvenience for me to take a moment of my time and offer her some kindness and maybe a little help.

That evening, the scene of those five minutes ran through my mind like a video and I realized that if I had been on “True Beauty,” I would have failed that secret challenge miserably. My self-centeredness shamed me and I realized that while it may not be on video, it was seen by the One who judges all. Just as with the final three contestants, all I could do was admit my guilt, speak my remorse, and ask my Judge to look past my self-centeredness. Here’s where the difference between reality shows and reality comes in. Jesus’ death and resurrection washes away my sinfulness as if it never happened! No video haunting me, replaying in endless reruns and YouTube outtakes. He paid the price for my sin and in doing so washed me clean. He restored me to good standing with the Judge. I haven’t been disqualified as a child of God and with Jesus as my Lord and Savior I have already been crowned a “Daughter of the King.” When I fail to live up to that grand title, Jesus is there to pick me up, brush me off and point me in the right direction toward the prize that is already mine – eternal life with Him!
About the pictures:
Blackwater Falls State Park (May 2010)

1 comment:

Bob Chess said...

When God put the woman in front of me who couldn't pay for her food at Giant Eagle and I did nothing while dodging the red bricks God was boncing off my head. I did go back and try to pay for her order but never found her. I'll never be a beauty.