"17 For these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ himself."
What we see isn't all there is. This is something that has been on my heart a lot lately. I'm not a guy that harps on the media all the time. I love music, tv and movies as much as the next person, but lately I've been frustrated. There is so much stuff being "sold" to us as reality on a day-to-day basis, and it's so far off that they are but a shadow of the reality they attempt to profess.
The people who lived through the birth of the Christian Church 2,000 years ago faced their own kinds of shadows. For them it was all about rules. Many Christians were Jewish converts and lived by The Law. After accepting Christ, they continued to live that way because that was all they had ever known. That was their reality and it was very difficult to see any other reality. But these laws, these rules, were only shadows of the real thing, which is living a life mimicking Christ. It was a life lived being transformed by His Spirit daily. If these Christians tried to live out this "shadow faith," they would miss the point and land very far off the mark.
In our culture today we chase many shadows as well. It's so pervasive in this consumer-driven milieu that sometimes it's difficult to imagine there is any other way. Look at some of the newest movies coming out: The Hangover 2, Friends with Benefits, No Strings Attached, Hall Pass, The Change Up to new a few. These movies attempt to show you that normal life is full of partying with only hilarious and good consequences, sex with no commitment of side effects, marriages that can never satisfy…it's very upsetting. Granted I am writing this as a newlywed, so some of these things are on my radar much more than they were a year ago. I am 29, set in my ideals and beliefs, and still these ideas rest in my subconscious.
"Why isn't our marriage like that?"
"Why can't I look like that no matter how much I work out?"
"Am I ever going to make enough money to live comfortably?"
"Is that really what makes a woman beautiful?"
These are very real questions and concerns that plague me on a day-to-day basis. I need to remind myself that no matter how often these things are shown to me, they are not truth. As long as we assume they are, we are going to be dissatisfied. Plato, the old Greek Philosopher, presented this idea this way.
I like to think of it this way: It's like all our lives we have been eating SPAM and all of a sudden our tastebuds are introduced to Thai food. What person in his or her right mind would choose SPAM over Thai?? May it never be!
As Christians our hearts and minds must begin to be transformed; we must submit ourselves to God; we must allow a change to take place. We must begin to see the world through the lens of a transformed life. Are you "buying" what they are "selling"? Or are you holding it up to Scripture and seeing where it falls short. I pray it's the latter and that you begin to find your reality in Him in the light of His word.