Over the last ten years, my husband and I have traveled the world without ever leaving home. We have done this via our favorite show, The Amazing Race. For years, we have enjoyed watching eleven teams traverse the world, accomplishing challenging feats in their quest for a million dollar prize!
One team in the recent season my hubby and I watched was nicknamed, “The Bickersons,” a doctor and nurse team, paired together to run The Amazing Race for a season where the producers tried something new.
Half the teams, the Bickersons included, were matched up not knowing one another before the race to see if romantic sparks might fly while racing. Talk about a memorable blind date!
The Bickersons were named such because nearly every scene showed them squabbling like cats and dogs. Nevertheless, this contentious couple won several legs of the race. At the end of one of their winning legs, “Mr. Bickerson” commented that he and his running mate communicated well and got along 90% of the time. It was just 10% of the time that was “hell.”
I was a bit shocked by his admission. I thought perhaps he was putting a positive spin on reality at best, lying at worst. But, then I remembered, this is TV, and even in “reality TV,” there is much editing that goes on.
After that scene, my husband looked at me and commented, “You edit your life, too, ya know.” I knew exactly what he was talking about. My tendency is to edit my life in a way that shows the glass half empty. I often do this with a desire to be genuine and not present partial realities. But in practice, I have ended up doing the exact opposite. I have focused only on the hard and heavy many times.
There are others, however, that edit their lives to show only the glitz and glamor, the put together and pretty. They show the glass half full, only and always.
In our interactions with others, we need to realize there is always editing going on. We weigh our words, crop the frame of the picture. It is not necessarily wrong, but I think it is a helpful thing to know that we all do it.
Even more invaluable is to know how and why we are prone to edit our life the way we do.
If we only share all the joys and triumphs, the gratifying and splendid moments in our life, is it because we are trying to hide the ugly and difficult for fear that we will be seen as weak, incompetent or needy?
God’s Word provides motivation and courage to widen the frame and invite others to see the mess you typically edit out in the portrayals of your life. James 4:6 tells us that God will give grace to the humble and verse 10 promises that you will be exalted as you humble yourself before God. Proverbs 11:2 warns us, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
If we are in Christ, we have no need to hide our junk. We can lay it boldly before Him and wisely before others knowing that He promises to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), to present us blameless and without blemish (Colossians 1:22).
On the other hand, if we only ever talk about our fears and fumblings, is it because we lack faith and haven’t had a vision of the greatness of our God? Do we need to train our eyes to see and minds to consider all that God is providing and directing for our good?
Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
Colossians 3 has all kinds of great input that is summed up with, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
I certainly don’t wish to impose a false sense of conviction on anyone who is primarily positive or otherwise, enduring significant hardships and needs to invite committed friends in to help bear that burden.
But, I do think it is a good practice to prayerfully consider how we might be editing our lives in both our face-to-face relationships and online ones as well. Are our edits motivated by the desire to serve others and make God look great, or is it done with the desire to draw attention solely to ourselves? Are we allowing the Master Editor give us His perspective on our lives and in turn portraying our lives according to His cuts?