Many years ago I was essentially the “band pastor” for some guys who were great friends trying to make it in the music industry. To this day that was one of my most favorite seasons of life. I was talking about it with someone the other day and a story came to mind. While driving home that night I couldn’t let go of the story and it’s ramifications. I want to share it with you with a quick challenge:
The band was doing a showcase for a very major label. (Where you play a quick show in front of A & R types and then do the smooze-fest thing.) The A & R guy loved them and had a great vision for where he thought they could go- but he had some feedback. One thing he told the lead singer was this: “You need to take your wedding ring off and wear some tighter pants. The girls in the crowd will respond to you more that way.” No, he really said that along with some other not so pure things. He wanted their image to project sexuality more.
Needless to say they didn’t proceed with that guy or the label.
Essentially what he was saying is that he really liked their music, but didn’t like their image. In his world- image matters almost more than content. I remember the heaviness of hearing those comments and just how messed up our world and perspective can get. This guy was looking past their talent and focusing on the surface.
You might see where I am going here. I’ve recently been talking with some leaders who have been fighting how they project their image for many reasons. There is always a pull to be more like whoever is the hot voice of the time. There is always a desire to fit in with the “cool folks”… so that might mean skinny jeans, a v-neck and faux hawk. (remember those?) What it also means is that many times we get so caught up in fitting in that we heavily dilute our content. There is always a pull to say things and do things that will cause people to like us and want to be around us. There is always a pull to be quick to judge others to make ourselves feel better about our image. All these things pull us to project an image that frankly is not really us, just us trying to fit in.
Let’s be honest. We are all guilty of one or more of those, right?
There is a reason you see the verse many times in the Bible that says “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
I want to challenge you this week with something. Let your image project more than someone trying to fit in.
Find your voice. Be you. Let the image you project be an overflow of the God you are cultivating a deeper relationship with. Let your image be fully the person that He made and has amazing plans for. Let go of striving to be someone you might not be. Those chains get real heavy and you know there is never any win in comparison.
Obviously we don’t want our image to reflect negatively on the God we serve so we need to have some wisdom here. But let’s decide to lean more into who we are for Him instead of trying to be something for someone else.
I don’t want to try to be someone I am not to gain something that will crash and burn. I want to be someone that projects back to the One that remains. The One that gives me my name, my gifts and abilities. It’s true for you too.
The question is- what image are you projecting to your world?
Praying the image you project this week won’t be fake to draw a crowd, but real to point others to the One that matters forever.