I’m an amateur photographer and love all the creative things I can do online with the images I share. When I first began experimenting with my photos, I got a little wild with all the different effects. By adding different filters, I could completely change the look of a picture.
Where once an image was sunny and bright, I could bring it down to look dark and gloomy. I could also do the opposite. I added frames, embedded graphics, even melded two images into one. The options were endless.
But once the new wore off, I found that my favorite images were the ones that looked most like real life—with little or no effects applied. The ones that captured that moment, without embellishment, brought me the most joy. Those unadorned pictures were also the ones that garnered the most attention online. They seemed to bring out the best conversations.
And not too long ago, God whispered a parallel truth to me about my own life. So often, when I share things about me, my tendency is to apply a filter. It doesn’t matter if it’s something positive or negative, I can’t seem to just lay it out there. I play around with what I share, how I share it, and even the spin I put on it when I share it.
I try to frame it and embellish it with explanations and logic. I apologize for the good things, downplay the negative things, and generally try to neaten life up.
But the times when I’m most honest about what I’m experiencing, are the times when I connect deepest with those around me. Those moments of transparency and realism are when God can come in and touch others. It’s when I’m most vulnerable, that I’m most valuable to the kingdom.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:15 (ESV)