#nofilter – The Gospel According to Instagram
You guys are pretty in touch with reality, right?
Technology has gotten pretty nuts in the last few years. I used to have to head home, sit at a desktop to crack open a program to edit photos. Nowadays we could do it right from our phones. Before anyone sees the picture it could be completely different. Originals don’t exist, final results are the only things that matter. Instant truth-fixers. Our new photoshopped reality is “beautiful” or rather… The real world is much more beautiful.
Photoshop was pretty awesome when it came out. Still is. It used to be that you had to physically change photos with actual brushes and tools. In 1988, this guy, Thomas Knoll, published the first version of it. Wow, that’s almost as old as me. It changed things because it let you do it all digitally. Being able to make changes quickly and undo changes cleanly. It was a breakthrough. Now it’s everywhere. In thousands of computers, even in our pockets. Well. it’s become a verb. Not all instances of photo editing are even in photoshop anymore.
Through it, you could highlight, hide, or even add things. It’s much different than filtering. With filters, you will makes changes to the whole thing. The whole picture would change with any changes with filters. Not messing with the finer details. Ever read, hah read, the book “Where’s Waldo?”. Those books had so much going on in each image that it made the finding of objects challenging. It was awesome to see the small little details in the pictures. All the care and work that went into it.
Software like this is powerful. This type of power lets us decide what parts are good or bad. We edit our pictures for various reasons. To erase our flaws is a big one. We can find something wrong with us visually and could change it now. Just pull up the app and blip. boop. Done.
Power of Controlling “Truths”:
Handling representations are dangerous. When I was around twelve or thirteen, I remember when I was. Actually I don’t. Not much of it anyway. This here lies in my own issue. I had lied to myself so much in my younger years because I thought I could redefine myself. “Photoshop” my past. Now I don’t know what’s real or not in those years. How I saw things was that if you controlled truth, what people thought really was and happened. Then you could have the power to control. Being manipulative. I was a jerk. I was shady. I was a horrible person. I’m just scared to think what happened back then. I royally screwed myself up. God found me and cleaned me back to the original state. As in John 8 (ESV):
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus set me free from lies and deceit with his truth. But it also freed me from even thinking I could “fix up” or manipulate anything into anything. I just lied to myself. I’ve learned that no one really believes your lies as much as you do. It will ruin you from the inside out and shackle you. Only the truth will set you free from that. The most devious lies will come in small doses. Some details may change then, it changes the whole picture.
Trying to Fit it Ourselves:
Looking at the photos we take, editing looks tempting. We will try to fix things that don’t need fixing or bring us to points where we are just in ruins. Stuck in our sins, we don’t know what we’re doing. Our sinful state gave us the wrong perspective on life. A wrong vantage that leads us to making the wrong “fixes”. Because we didn’t know what we were doing, we can mess with our own image. But:
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
As it is said in Ephesians 2 (NLT). What ends up happening is that you control what your followers see. But those could be utter lies that you are telling. Why tell a fake life only to get reactions out of people? A life filled with truth and beauty that you actually live in and get to experience is much better than a photoshopped photo. If you think you could redefine your life by lies, you are a mistaken.
Restoring the Original:
But God could fix everything back to what it should be. He always has an original copy that He is calling us back to. This is like the revert button on Photoshop. Such as it says in 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 (ESV):
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
We are washed. We are cleaned. We are back to the original that God designed us to be. Paul writes to the Romans (in chapter 12)(ESV):
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We cannot conform to the sense of beauty of the world in it’s photoshopped and edited splendor that we can’t hope to ever achieve in reality. We can achieve God’s reality, the real reality, through Christ’s grace. His renewal of our mind. In this sense, we have to see the world for what God sees it is. Also since it comes from Him, of course he is the one who knows how it is supposed to be. He is the one that could bring us back to the original design, the original picture of us and the created world we live in.
Tying back to #nofilter:
We are God’s masterpiece. God created our world and it is beautiful. No filters or photoshop edits will make it better than it is. We might actually cause ourselves to miss out on the details. With the lense of truth, that is pretty much like a set of glasses. We can see life and the world for what it really is and love it for what it is instead of weighing it with our expectations. Rather than hiding and obscuring the details, let’s appreciate them.