They often are not.
I recently visited a couple of locations where television programs are regularly taped for the History Channel. I was surprised both times. Television can be very deceiving. Some of it is due to the nature of camera lenses and TV screens, and the way our imagination fills in what is past the camera’s periphery. But a lot of it is intentional deception written into the director’s instructions to give a desired illusion. All-in-all, these two locations were entirely different from what I had expected before arriving.
It’s not only that way in television. I’ve known people on a professional level and became quite disillusioned as I got to know them personally. There have been some whom I respected in ministry leadership: pastors, parachurch heads, well-known preachers, where I have felt completely let down once I got into their homes or got to know their close family members and found out what the person was really like. Early in ministry, and even while I was in college and seminary, I found that too often high profile people, even those in ministry, were more focused on their public persona and reputation than on who they really were.
Who are you, really?
Honestly, there is a little bit of hypocrisy in all of us. I think we all at times put on as though we are someone or something that we are not.
But God cares about who you REALLY are. That is, who you are when no one is looking. What kind of life would you lead and what decisions would you make if you could get away with doing whatever you wanted to do and people only found out about what you chose to reveal? Answering that question will tell you more about your character and the real you than anything else. And that’s the you that God sees and knows.
Still, he loves the real you!
But he doesn’t want you to stay that way. He wants to help you grow. He wants your inside, your heart, to be truly in-tune with Him, submissive to his will, and focused on caring about others.
He doesn’t want it to just look that way, but for it to be that way, even if no one found out about it. And that’s the you that He will reveal to the world some day.
So who are you, really? Is your life like a television studio, arranged a certain way to show others what you want them to see? Or are you submitting your heart to God and allowing Him to mold and shape the real you? When others see who you really are, are they attracted to the Life of God in you, because it is obviously much more than a pretentious display?
Are things as they seem?