Monday, June 25, 2012

Don't Ruin The Image

Eventually we come to an age in our lives where we think we need to portray a certain kind of image of ourselves. Whether this image comes from a movie character, an actual person that has influenced our lives or one of our own family members, it is still a decision we make to continue to function successfully day by day. The funny thing is, when we decide to choose an image that isn't real like a movie character, many times we act as if our lives is a sitcom as well.

I recall in high school, and couldn't possibly forget him, was this guy who would come to my French class and make all of these nonsensical rantings at the threshold of the door. He would have this nice looking side kick that didn't say anything but follow after him like some whipped puppy. This guy would finish what ever rambling he'd have to say and then pound one side of the door and with a loud, "Ay!" , make this body gesture with his hands out to his sides and then leave. He was trying his best to act like Fonzie from Happy Days. Was the other guy supposed to be Richie Cunningham or Potsie Webber? None of us would say anything to him but we all had to be wondering why would he do this every morning? He wasn't even in the class! I can laugh about it now, one being that both of them are African American and the other, of all people to choose to emulate - Fonzie? Really?  
It took a couple of years before the side kick started to gain a perspective of an image all his own. Without the side kick, we didn't see too much of the Fonzie character. I wonder why he never displayed this image in front of the football team or maybe he did.... which could be why we didn't see him much anymore - lol.

Being reminded of my high school days also tells me what the movie industry hopes for when creating these characters. Because young people are so impressionable, they lean towards the most recent fad and what the majority tries to do for that season (Matthew 7:13 AMP). Hopefully, for the new character, it remains in style to be a brand and for marketing moguls to make money off of. Once the interest is gone so is the attention and consequently all of the money that the interest brought (1 Timothy 6:10 AMP). What is left of that person still having to live the life given? Can he/she pick up the pieces after the whirl wind came through? Can the wannabe that is actually a has been be anything pleasing to God for multiplication to occur again (Luke 18:27 AMP)?

You see the problem with creating a false image or being impressed by what is misrepresented is that people  remember when it gets all discombobulated. It is the weirdest thing that when someone does something good, it is remembered as long as there isn't any scandal that happens later. Princess Diana was sought after because of her image of being a kindergarten teacher turned to Princess. It is the fairy tale that most girls dream about. She became an icon. When she married, she had much to contend with as well as maintaining an image. When it became too much, she divorced - according to the news articles. When she decided to live a life that is carefree with as many distinguished men as she chose to be with, the royal family couldn't dispute what she was doing seeing their son had done this as well. Not to mention, the people didn't have an issue with it seeing that her life had become Barbie like. She was like a real life action figure. Not only did she date the most eligible and wealthy bachelors, she had the most beautiful clothes, and had the most perfect photographs of being an anthropological philanthropist. When the news struck of her demise, millions of people mourned the loss. When the details of how she lost her life became public knowledge, people tried to remember all of the good Princess Diana had done though it never erased the tragedy.

In the perspective of Christian dating, for the most part, we still try to give a good impression upon meeting the person of our desires. We do the best we can to say the right things and do what is good and acceptable in the sight of that person. We do this so we can have the second and third date and more towards a relationship for the purposes of marriage. The problem with having the idea of holding fast to the first impression is that without practice, all of those efforts are in vain (Galatians 5:13-26 AMP). It is much like the movie character created for branding purposes and to make money.

Its funny when the actor, Henry Winkler stopped playing the character of Fonzie, he was the very image he made fun of. He wore glasses and had the voice of a computer geek - high pitched and expressive. Personally, as a 16 year old, I was shocked. Henry Winkler didn't have as many acting roles when Happy Days was cancelled. I believed he was typed set as Fonzie and when he spoke in his normal voice, he was the antithesis of his character. For some years, Henry Winkler remained behind the scenes as a producer and director. Why? I believe his fans had to forget the image he created.
I remember a character he played as a villain and a role he had on Law and Order  many years after Happy Days. He was actually riveting. The point is, I didn't need to know him as Fonzie anymore because of his well versed ability to act in other roles and also for the most important factor, I grew up.

It is necessary to be mature in Christ to realize first impressions aren't necessary. Usually such the pretense will fizzle, it being too difficult to keep, trying to create something that isn't real. It isn't a role that will end for branding purposes and something else can be created to impress the new person once the previous relationship failed. The character of a believer of Christ is seasoned, well developed and something another believer would enjoy to be around because of the greater one with whom each and every faithful person has spent time to create a relationship (Matthew 5:48 AMP). The image is distorted when enveloping anything outside of righteousness. He tells us the ingredients and we are responsible to maintain them (Romans 14:17 AMP). He knows what He has given us. He knows the tasks we are to accomplish. He knows when it is time for each of us to be presented or to show that specific person what He has done in each of us. It is the most perfect image. It is how He created man. It is how He designed woman. He paused and looked and said, it is good. There was a discussion and agreement to create a being in the image of greatness (Genesis 1:26 KJV). God then pairs this greatness with the greatness of the tasks He has given. When we all realize how this functions as one body in Christ, He will return to retrieve His bride. Get it?


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