What Do You Look Like from Behind?

Do you ever think about what you look like from behind?

I thought about that when the royal wedding photos were released and it was obvious that members of the wedding party had considered how they would be appear from all angles.

I’m often guilty of forgetting that others have a 360-degree view of me. I check to be sure I’m as inoffensive as I can make myself from the front but I’ve been known to spend time drying my bangs and forelocks while leaving the rest of my hair to figure itself out (like a form of Hasidic couture).

I’ve also been known to leave the house with stains on the back of a blouse or white marks on the back of my pants from where I’ve brushed against something, reminiscent of that Doritos commercial where the supermodel has wiped her cheesy handprints on the back of her jeans.

When I try on clothing at department stores and am confronted by those 360 mirrors, it catches me off guard as I’m suddenly reminded that the other half of my body is visible to others. I wonder how often I’ve walked around with a false sense of confidence in my appearance only to leave a trail of snickering glances in my wake.

Today I’m thinking about these words that Paul wrote in counsel to Timothy “The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.” I Timothy 5:24

Do your sins trail behind you like unpleasant fumes? Do you present a godly front only to turn and be exposed as a façade-wearing fraud? Is your walk with Jesus real or is it mostly smoke and mirrors? When the celestial paparazzi catch you off guard at an odd-angle, what does that snapshot reveal to those who watch from the heavenly realms?

These are the questions I ask myself when I turn to the 360-mirror of God’s word. It is sooooo easy to write about being a Christian but it’s stomach-churning, muscle-pounding work to live it out every moment of every day. I want to write Christian fiction, not live it, so one form of protection I put up against hypocrisy is to live and write as transparently as possible.

That doesn’t always work out the way I hope. Sometimes I share too much. Sometimes I’m misunderstood. Often, I’m vulnerable to the judgment of others. Better that, though, than to live life like a drunken skywriter leaving behind me a wispy trail of unpleasant words and toxic fumes.

We’ve all known people whose sins trailed behind them. Christians with reputations for being dynamic teachers, community leaders, or speakers with well-known names who leave in their backwash loved ones, staff, or behind the scenes, workers who see the truth of what the person is when the lights are down and the cameras are no longer running.

But we don’t have to be famous to be frauds.

Every day, believers face the challenge of living truth, representing truth, speaking truth, and presenting truth through every aspect of our lives. If we only apply scriptural truth to the faceplate of our lives, we’re likely to leave behind a slimy trail of sin.

Let me encourage you to spend enough time in the 360-mirror of God’s word that it penetrates the surface and permeates your being. Breathe it in like perfume so that in your wake, others are refreshed not repulsed by the stench of hypocrisy and superficiality. Be in relationship with honest, mature believers who will tell you if you’re starting to smell bad or if you’ve leaned against wet paint.

You can always tell when someone has put in the effort to be presentable from every angle. Likeways, you can usually spot the believers who actually know Christ and aren’t simply dropping the name of a casual acquaintance. Paul goes on to encourage Timothy with this truth in verse 25: “In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.”

What do you look like from behind? Have you given it any thought lately? Consider it today, you may find you have cheesy handprints on the backside of your soul!

What do you do to stay real? What strategies do you recommend for maintaining a 360-degree walk with Christ? I’m always looking for ways to grow – I know you have wisdom to share!

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6 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. candidkerry says:

    Love, LOVE this. What a great reminder that what we do in secret, really isn’t in secret.

    Like you, I put much stock in transparency. I love your writing and posts for just that reason. I pray I can write as transparently as you do.

    Years ago, as an older teenager/young adult, I was in a situation that was far from godly. I knew it was sinful, and one day it struck me solidly between my eyes that Jesus was in that room with me. He was there. He died for what I was doing in that moment.

    I was horrified, and the situation (relationship) ended shortly after that. It grieved me to know – to truly realize, deep in my soul – that my Savior had to be subject to my selfish, ugly sin.

    That life-changing realization has always stayed with me. Whatever I’m doing, wherever I am, Jesus is with me. Truly there. Because His heart is what I long for, I don’t want to hurt it with my sinful actions.

    I also shared your recent post (about your writing dream coming true) with a friend who is struggling with homeschooling…it really blessed her (me, too!)

    God Bless you!
    Kerry

  2. Love this one also!

  3. Amazing…what a fantastic post. Bless you, Lori!

  4. sheri says:

    Thought provoking ! Thank you, Lori for being transparent

    Thanks for being transparent, Lori ! Great thoughts!

  5. In my former life as a paralegal,the process was called a ‘post mortem’ – what do I do? I like the way my husband phrases it “If you can’t write His name on the end of the day and be happy with it, you need to clean up.” I can’t say I do that everyday, but I try to.

  6. This is something we all need to think about. As we go through our daily lives dealing with people, kids, grandchildren, husbands, co-workers. We don’t want to leave a trail of destruction, but one of love, compassion, peace and joy. It is a continuous process because the enemy always tries to throw something in to aggravate us. Thanks for making us be more aware this is something I have been thinking about lately, too. May God bless you!