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Ideal Image


One of the biggest problems that I have observed and witnessed about our society is the idea of an ideal image in regards to other people, life, and themselves. There is nothing wrong with having expectations and I am a big believer in having certain standards and expectations especially when it comes to other people and even situations but with that said, when something is ideal, it is exactly the way we want it or is perfect.

However, the problem with an ideal image is that ideal is not reality. In fact, something that is considered to be ideal is usually unattainable. When we have an ideal image of something whether it’s our life or our partner or of other people, they are typically unable to be met. At least, not anything of this world but this is an issue that plagues both believers and nonbelievers alike which is something that I have been guilty of, personally.

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of [his] brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. “

—James 4:11

For many nonbelievers, they have this Hollywood approach or mindset to life. Their ideal image of life is a big house, a nice family with the perfect husband and wife, the perfect marriage, excellent children and a few animals, a nice vehicle, and on and on. However, in reality, this is typically far from what you get as the perfect husband usually has a few pounds on him or if he is Thor, he’s a bit rough around the edges and the perfect wife has a bit of an attitude, screams a bit louder than you’d like, and probably does not look like a model at all times. The house is not a home, not without love and effort in it and their children and animals do not fit the Hollywood life but they are what makes the family, complete.

Everything else including their vehicles and stuff are just possessions but too many people feel that life without these things is, well, incomplete. Sure, I like things but with that said, these things should never own us and are replaceable. What truly matters are the people that inhabit the home and the effort that it takes to make the house a home and while this may not fit the storybook setting of most movies and books, this is reality but it’s what makes life worth living as very little of reality is what we envision.

For believers, most of us have in mind what an ideal Christian looks like. For men, it is typically someone that is clean shaven or well-kept up, bright eyes, nicely dressed, soft spoken but also, well-spoken and the same is true for women. They are seen as sweet and polite, supportive, long haired, soft spoken, and prays regularly. Of course, both are seen to love Christ more than anything and while most believers do have a combination of some of these traits, in reality, the perfect Christian does not exist.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

—Romans 3:10

Some of the best Christians that I have known have a real past. Some were former drug addicts while others used to drink too much, some had affairs and lusted after the opposite sex and others loved money and chased after it. While these people had real pasts, their experiences with the world and worldly mindsets taught them just how great Christ is. Having lived on both sides of the fence, after trying out both sides, they knew just how much better Christ is and how much more He has to offer than any substance.

Some of these reformed women did not look anything like the ideal image that most of us have. Some of these people drank and smoked and many cussed a bit much and many had learned that you could not trust people very easily so they were hard to crack and while each one was different, what they have in common is their love and affection for Christ. When we search scripture, nowhere do we find Christ having a perception of what an ideal Christian is and some of the best known men and women within the pages of God’s words are exactly like each one of us. Although they loved Christ, they were not perfect but just like us, we serve a big God.

David was a man after God’s own heart and a great king but David lusted after women. He desired their touch and had Uriah killed in the line of duty to cover up his indiscretions. Moses had a stuttering problem which caused him to have great insecurities about himself and both Abraham and Jacob were liars. Peter feared death and Hosea’s wife was a prostitute and while they had many imperfections each, loved Christ and was able to go to Him, just like the rest of us as Christ died for each and every one of us.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

—1 Peter 3:18

What do you think?

Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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