A few days back, I was preparing to speak in a children’s Bible class. The story I chose was a fictional one but it had a beautiful message to be given at the end. Since the meeting was held through a Zoom call, I decided to show the visuals along with the story and a craft activity for the children to comprehend.
It was a story about three trees and their dreams. The first tree wanted to be a treasure chest and have all the precious gems, gold and silver kept inside it. The second tree wanted to be a mighty ship and wished to have mighty kings travel in it across the sea. The third tree wanted to grow to be the tallest tree in the forest. It wanted people to look up to its branches and think about God.
As our children ministry activities are on hold due to the present situation, a thought came to me to start the lessons for kids online. But the shooting part- like facing camera and talking to it pretending as if talking in the room filled with kids, felt strange in the beginning. I made a lot of mistakes while speaking in front of the camera but I can also say that I am improving week by week. It felt great sometimes but sometimes it didn’t when I didn’t do it the right way and my mind went blank in between, when I needed water for my parched throat frequently, and when I struggled to find the right Hindi words and couldn’t speak fluently in one stretch.
The best part of making the videos is that we have many options and no matter how many errors are there, we can cut that part by editing and present a flawless video using different effects, lights, and music. So it’s assuring that only the good parts of the production will be presented. Nevin does the shooting and editing work and I make sure he edits it in such a way as to make the video attractive and enjoyable for the kids. And I also make sure that even my slightest mistake shouldn’t be revealed anywhere.
I wonder, how many times we do the same thing with our lives too. We want only the good part of our character to be shown to others. We are conscious about not revealing our errors and the “not so good” side of ourselves to people. We wonder, whether they will still accept us and like us if they come to know about the imperfect side of us. So we try our best to cover it up and show the good version of ourselves to the world. But the reality soon sinks in. Unlike the video, our “errors” can’t be hidden at all times. Sooner or later, our feelings like our hurts, anger, frustrations, disappointment, regrets, envy, doubts, feeling of being overlooked by others, feeling of injustice done to us, feelings of all sorts of negativity which sometimes rattle our mind in some most challenging & hard days get uncovered. And our “unedited version” gets unaccepted by the world.
In the case of video making, it is acceptable to edit the video and cut short the unnecessary part of it to make it more presentable and acceptable but in real life, editing the different aspects of our character will not work. In the efforts of perfecting, presenting, pretending, posing, pleasing, proving and performing for others to gain their approval or to keep certain relationships unruffled or to hold on to our “good version” hard enough, we may fail to be our true selves.
But here’s the beautiful truth we often overlook when we try hard to win the approval of the world.
God doesn’t see what the world sees!
To give you its acceptance and make you qualified on its measuring stick, the world will only look at the outer appearance – your good performance and everything which is acceptable about you. But God sees your heart. He sees all your feelings, even if they are not so good some days. He sees your imperfections, He sees that “not so good” side of you, He also sees your tears, your pains, your joy and the “good” side of you. He sees both sides of your HEART and He still accepts you the way you are.
God accepts even the unedited version of you!
We struggle hard every day to present our “good version” to the world but we fail many times to hold that “good version” for a long time, as we know deep inside that it’s not all about us. There is more, there is this “not so good part”. There are weaknesses, there are failures and there are many imperfections too. The world may not accept you always, especially when you fail to please it, but rest assured that your Heavenly Father will. What matters the most is that you only strive to please Him and know that He alone values and accept the “Real You” and He accepts even the “unedited version” of you.