Saturday, September 27, 2014

What We See (and What we Don't) Part Two

So, I noticed something when I got onto a different computer to check the comments yesterday: the image in my last post doesn't always show up. I don't know why that happens, but I now know that this was the case; sorry about that. I think it has something to do with the file format of the picture. I'll try to avoid that for future posts. :)
At any rate, I hope these pictures show up. 
This is the picture I posted earlier this week. One of my friends thought they looked like candles burning in the dark. I still think of falling stars. Would it surprise you to know that this picture
is the same as this picture

is the same as this picture?

 This is a screenshot of the weather forecast on my iPhone. I cropped out everything but the raindrops on the sides (which is the picture above) and--using only the photo-shopping options available on my phone--turned it into the first picture you saw. Pretty cool, huh?

Yes, I promise there is a point to this, other than showing off my super-iPhone photo-shopping skills. :) You see with these pictures how easy it is to make something look like something it's not. You don't need an iPhone to do it, either. We do this every day. Think about it: have you ever been lying in bed on a Sunday morning and really not wanted to go to church, but you made yourself get up just so you wouldn't look bad to the other people at church? I, as the eldest daughter of our youth pastor, feel this way all the time. No, I'm not actually "photo-shopping" anything, but it's the same concept: manipulating something to make it seem like something it isn't. I'm trying to make myself look like a "better Christian" even though my attitude is all wrong.
We do this with beauty, too. I have always had trouble shopping for clothes with my mom, because she'll tell me something looks great in the store, but then I wear it and I feel like she always tells me there's something wrong with it, but she waits until after I buy it. I'm sure some of you feel the same. Have you ever complained to your friends about how strict your parents are--about modesty, about dating, about anything? I know I have. Sometimes, I even complain about decisions that I agree with-the jeans are too tight, the shirt is too low, etc. This is also "photo-shopping".
Everyone photo-shops. Wearing make-up is photo-shopping. Inventing a boyfriend so we don't look so alone is photo-shopping. Gossip is photo-shopping. And the purpose of much of this is to make you, the average Christian girl, look and feel inferior. "I have a purity pledge" becomes "she just can't get a boyfriend". "I don't wear make-up" becomes "she's so sheltered she doesn't even know what make-up is". "I dress modestly" becomes "she doesn't know what's cool". Don't buy it.
Our biggest challenge with this is to look through the photo-shopping to what's really there. I see girls every day who walk around with a boyfriend on their arm, wearing immodest outfits and layers of make-up, and they treat me like I'm inferior, but when I look past all of that, I see girls who are insecure and scared because the world has told them that their worth comes from having a boyfriend and looking "sexy". They're photo-shopping their lives to make themselves look and feel better, and most of them don't even realise it.
As Christian girls, we need to fight against this trap. Christ is the freedom we all desperately need, and He will use us to bring it to everyone, including the people we go to school and work with every day. But first, we need to see--as they do--that photo-shopping is better left for the iPhone.

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