Whoever has Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or whatever app there is we use to share our lives into, has definitely used a filter just to make the image look pleasing. (If you’ve never used filters, then okay. You’re still welcome to continue reading. Haha)
As a person who is not fond of make-ups, I used to hate seeing my face having those little, and not really cute pimps. Sometimes before, I open my photo editing app and start erasing those hints of stresses and age.
Because who really desires on revealing your bare face, with lots of flaws, to thousands of people? (Well, unless you look like Anne Hathaway. Haha)
“I’m not even that beautiful, so why would I expose my bare face?“
And as a christian, we may think that way when it comes to sinning. As much as possible, we hide ourselves whenever we commit one. When someone sees us, or when we realize that God sees us (because He can definitely see EVERY SINGLE thing that we do), all we could just feel is shame and guilt, and we don’t want to be seen and exposed.
This first happened when Adam and Eve subjected to disobedience. They knew they sinned and their eyes were opened to what’s good and evil. I think they felt shame more than any of us would feel today because they talked to God face to face.
And of course, the first thing they did after is to hide from God (Genesis 3).
How embarrassing can it really be when somebody has caught us cheating in an exam, lying to our parents, stealing stuff from our siblings, gossiping about that girl who we think wears colorful clothes that don’t even match up (I’ve done this last one before, but worse. Ugh, I was so much worse, if you just knew me. But thank God for grace, yeah?). Or maybe you’re thinking about the sins that you may think are far greater than these, in terms of world’s morality.
“Where are you?”
That was God’s response after they hid. You see, God did not say something like “What have you done?!” with a hand ready to slap, like what a scary father does. Instead of leaving them ashamed, naked, and full of guilt, He looked for them, He pursued them, and He saved them.
He saved them.
God made the very first sin covering filter known to mankind. He created them garments of skin and He clothed them (Genesis 3:21).
Yes, the garments did not just magically appeared. God killed an animal, removed the skin, cleaned it, and knitted it for them.
What a personal and intimate God He is! This is probably the kind of filter that we wanted. The filter that would cover our shame, and remove our guilt away. The kind of filter God makes for us Himself, right?
But sometimes we forget God’s unconditional love for us. Or we neglect the fact that there is a God who is willing to make us garments of skin even when we hurt Him the most. So we run away and resolve into making our own filters that we thought could help us. But in fact, those just make us uglier and expose our flaws more.
Paying through good works out of guilt, being part of certain religious groups to hide your mistakes, memorizing Bible verses, these things could never save us. But fortunately, God provided us the permanent means to remove the blemishes and flaws that we are shameful and guilty about.
The kind of filter God has made available for us is this:
He is our ultimate filter. And not that He covers our shame from God; He totally washed our sins away. The old, the present, and even the future ones. A one of a kind filter that cleans us white as snow.
In Christ, my messy, fully tainted life can change into a brand-new, clean slate life! And this one’s permanent and lasting. Receiving it once is enough to live an abundant brand new life now until forever. You don’t have to apply it again and again.
It might not make sense how the God who we have hurt so much can even make an effort to plan and execute the salvation for us, without us requiring to do anything but to have faith. God, the almighty and sovereign, loving a useless and worthless human being is a bit absurd.
But love transcends condemnation because He is love Himself.
So in case you’re in a hide-and-seek situation with God today because you know you just broke His heart, remember that He is continually pursuing you. He never stops and He never gets tired of asking “Where are you, my child?” despite the biggest mistake you’ve ever done against Him.
He wants to meet you and welcome you again. Your sins are already done for at the cross. He doesn’t even pay attention to them, nor see them. He sees Jesus instead, and looks at the new creature whom His beloved Son saved.
Go back to Him. Acknowledge your mistake, let it break your heart, repent, and surrender them all again to God. He loves you so much.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20 ESV
And about that beauty filter in social media apps, don’t mind them. We all know you’re beautiful you’re made according to God’s image. 🙂