Am I acceptable even if I've changed?
Is it OK to refuse the veneered version of myself?
Will people still like me if I put my real self out there?
If you've paid any attention to the news this summer, then you've probably noticed that Barbie got a makeover. Mattel launched their "You Can Be Anything" campaign. Now, there are (slightly less thin and slightly more unique) versions of the plastic phenom including:
Dress like a "doctor" Barbie.
Dress like a "skateboarder" Barbie.
Dress like a "fairy princess," "business woman," or a "pilot" Barbie.
You get the idea. She can be anything...well, at least she accessorizes like it. And so can you!
Now before you accuse me of coming down too hard on poor 'ole Barbie, know that I sincerely believe that role play and creativity is important to a child's development. Keeping that in mind, we're just as likely to try on personas at age 20, 30, 40, and so forth, right? It's true of our professions, hobbies, and yes, even our faith.
Now back to my questioning friend. Is it ok that I'm different now? That I've seen hard things and can't pretend? Like so many other men and women - she's exhausted from trying to rock the "put together," Jesus-lovin' persona. Christian Barbie. It's the same persona that's happy-go-lucky all the time and forever willing to put others first, regardless of the spiritual drought happening on the inside.
Did you know that it's absolutely possible for the fruits of our God-relationship to be reduced to a "look," an outfit?
The fatigue. The communication breakdowns. The fear. Relationship discord. The cracks in our faith are exposed when the chaos of the world creeps into our homes and our hearts, leaving us with tough questions and confusing answers. We know when we start to ponder the 'what if's.'
- What if nobody ever saw me attend a church service, read my Bible, or talk about God? Would I still believe?
- What if he/she leaves?
- Would I claim Jesus if I were being held at knife point? If I was being ostracized?
- What if I never have kids?
- What if everything Jesus said is true? Where does that leave me?
- Would I be willing to distribute Bibles at the risk of imprisonment or bodily harm?
- What if I was a member of a hidden church? Would the North Korean or Somalian Christians avoid attending service if the lighting, the music, and the demographics of the membership wasn't just right? If somebody hurt their feelings?
Fake divides. It deceives and it manipulates. That shiny Barbie hair...it simply has to go.
So yes, in case you're still wondering, it's perfectly, fantastically, refreshingly OK if you end up feeling different afterwards.
So long "Christian Barbie",
Have you ever felt like you had to wear a fake smile?
What does deep, honest faith look like in your life?