Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Do you have an image problem?

In Fight Clubs: Gospel-Centred Discipleship (The Resurgence. 2009), Jonathan Dodson writes:

"All too often, our online identity is very different from our offline identity. Our Facebook status projects what we want others to think of us, not who we truly are. Our blog posts are shrouded in airs of intellectualism or edginess. We all face the temptation to project a false image of ourselves because we find the real image inadequate. If we are honest, the real image is nowhere near as attractive as we want it to be. We want to be more beautiful, more successful, more creative, more virtuous, more popular, and more intelligent than we actually are. We all have an image problem. The problem, however, is not that we lack beauty, success, creativity, virtue, popularity, or intelligence. The problem is that we believe the lie that obtaining those images will actually make us complete, happy, and content people."

Having believed the lie, we endlessly exert ourselves trying to create and preserve the image we want others to see. But all the while we remain unsatisfied. Our deepest needs go unmet. The irony is that Christianity is also about image and identity. But it teaches that we are made in the image of God, designed to find our identity in Him. We have all failed to live in line with what God created us for yet in His great love for us God does not cast us into hell. Instead Jesus willingly suffers in our place and God raises Him from the dead so that, through faith in Him, we can be forgiven and given a new identity in Christ Jesus.

When we trust our lives to Jesus we are freed from the endless cycle of trying to impress others because Jesus has impressed God on our behalf. As Dodson says: "I can tell people my sins because my identity doesn’t hang on what they think of me. I can be an imperfect Christian because I cling to a perfect Christ".


  1. Hey Martin,

    Very true. I would say from this flows all the hate and verbal posturing we see on many of the "attack" and "watch" blogs.


  2. Absolutely. If we are not drawing our sense of acceptance, purpose, identity or contentment from Christ then we *will* draw it from elsewhere. Its idolatry. Unfortunately, the hardest kind of idolatry to identify and the most resistant to route out is that done by Christians whose idol is their self-appointed role as a 'bastion of orthodoxy'