Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Image Building

(Mr. Bluebird visits Mr. Redbird)

A couple of years ago my friend Terri gave me a little stone bird to put on my back porch. (I told about it in this post, "Update on Illusions") Being out in the weather all the time caused the poor little thing to get all rusty and old looking. I didn't really know what it needed so my husband suggested painting it. I wanted it to be red because I love redbirds a lot. One day I came home from grocery shopping and found he had painted Mr. Bird for me.

Last week I looked out my kitchen window and saw a beautiful, real live blue bird perched on a sand rock beside Mr. Redbird. Mr. Bluebird seemed to be wondering if Mr. Redbird was just a little stiff and formal or maybe just shy. I guess he finally figured out that although he was pretty and red and had the shape of a real bird, he in truth, was a fake! So off into the breeze flew Mr. Bluebird.

As I taught from Daniel in my Ladies Sunday School class Sunday morning, I could not help but think about Mr. Redbird and Mr. Bluebird. Our Scripture was from Daniel 3 where Nebuchadnezzar built the ninety foot tall golden "image" for the people to bow down and worship. Using some of the thoughts from Beth Moore's Daniel study, we talked about "Image Building". None of us had been bowing to images of stone or metal or wood. But how often do we build images of ourselves? Beth Moore said image building "can be any way we intentionally make ourselves seem different...and usually better...than we really are. It may begin with what is actually true but builds up that truth bigger than life until it is fake. It really just comes down to this: if we are different inside than what people see outside...we're image builders!"

Now I know that we can not be totally transparent to others. I'm not meaning that. But when we purposefully try to make others think we are different than we really are, we're building an image for them to see instead of what we really are. Often it's feelings of insecurity that trigger putting up this false front. Sometimes all it takes is comparing ourselves with another who has better hair, better clothes, is more intelligent, has a better, bigger, (cleaner!) house, nicer car, more well behaved children, etc. The list could go on and on!

What's the remedy? We need to remember that God loves us just like we are! He made us! I don't mean that we shouldn't try to be the best He wants us to be. But when we do our best for Him, that's all He requires!

Mr. Bluebird didn't find a friend in Mr. Redbird after all. Because Mr. Redbird was just a fake! I pray that I will be real and that in being real I will be able to become a friend to people who need the friendship.

"And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4: 24




Yolanda said...


This was awesome!!! I don't want to be a fake either, no cheap imitation, but the real deal.


Martha said...

So many riches found in Daniel. I keep thinking of things and relating Daniel to every day occurances. Didn't you love Bro. Rex using Esther at the World Day of Prayer? I'm thinking "that's my Esther".
Love you -

Runner Mom said...

Love this, my sweet friend! And, I love the photo on your blog too!! Beautiful! Give-away at my blog!

Cindy said...

Hey Marilyn,

I'm so glad you had a great Mother's Day! I love this post. I was an image builder for years because I thought that I could never measure up. I compared myself to everyone else and finally, God got it through my thick head that I am not to be compared to anyone. He made me to be me, not everyone else. (I had to Break Free and say So Long Insecurity, lol!)

I am doing the Daniel study at Leah's home with a couple's group. I've done it several times with different groups and I never tire of it. I think it's probably one of my favorite studies.

Hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!


Leah @ Point Ministries said...


As Cindy said, we are doing Daniel in a couple's Bible study and we are enjoying it so much. Daniel rocks!! I so want to be a Daniel in this day and age in which the Lord has allowed me to live.

As I am learning from the book that I read, UnChristian, those who are outside the church really just want to see Christians being transparent and real. I pray that I can be that and draw others to Christ.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Authentic living... it's what I'm after, friend, before God and before his people. Never let it be said of me, "she's a fake." That being said, I pray that my "goal" to be authentic doesn't become an image builder as well. Sometimes we like to brag about our humility. Does that make sense?

Love you, friend.


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Love that bird picture!

Deborah said...

Amen! Good thoughts! I think trying to be someone I'm not would take way too much energy...and I don't have any to waste!
I hope things have gotten back to normal for you there...Have a blessed weekend!

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Hi Marilyn, Great Word ! I too have a desire to always be real. I love the analogy. Thanks for sharing.

TJ said...

Great post. I don't want to be an image builder either - I too want to be real. This is a very thought provoking post. Thanks.