When we are self-focused, looking "inside ourselves" for truth and using what we see there as the baseline of our reality, we will see either a saint or a villain; the wisest person on earth or the stupidest. Since we never get a clear picture of the real "us", due to the fluctuation we experience on a daily basis our view of reality gets distorted. We seek to be praised to cover-up an exposed insecurity and shame opposed to understanding our shame is normal and God has removed that from us, instead of gratitude, we seek something else. A vile exchange transpires, soon we become so confused and lost that we give up trying to figure out who we really are and create an "avatar" to project to the world. We dig deep into what we wish we really were like and then try and pretend to be that kind of person. Some of us have been doing this for a very long time already--this is why we have fewer and fewer authentic and healthy relationships. But let us be reminded we are all fully known and yet still, fully loved. Its okay to air out some dirty laundry, that closet isn't a closet to God, and skeletons and roaches aren't concealed from the gaze of the almighty. He stands there armed to the teeth as the divine exterminator ready to hall the skeletons out in caskets and exterminate the roaches with incredulous efficiency, attention to detail is not lacking when Jesus is let in to these closets of shame. He removes, heals and walks out as if the closet had been clean the whole time and nothing out of the ordinary was amiss.
Once we become aware we have a problem we begin to seek solutions in temporary fixes or allusions of beautiful retreats away from the confines of difficult daily living, yet we don't really know what we want, for we wont know real beauty until we have faces that properly mirror that glory that we all in some way shape or form seek after. And what the holy spirit reveals to us is an awakening and newborn desire to be brought into the community of the blessed Trinity; to become one with the infinite and blend in with the maker who spoke into existence the cosmos.
However a redemptve plan had to take place for this newborn spiritual desire to take root in our hearts.The composition of the trinity was forever altered when Jesus came in disguise. Moved by mercy, He removed the insignia of his majesty, to be found without form or majesty, but not so in power, this is what Paul is referring to when He says "his body is weak but his words are strong" Worldly fluctuations in appearance and form is not what is real. What is unseen (thoughts, emotions, feelings) is more the real in the sense than what is seen, for our faces can mask emotions, we can lie, in Gods presence, those transformed faces cannot, indeed because they wish not too, every irrational thought and desire is done away with and we are known as we've always been known, naked before God, perfect beauty instead of concealed shame. In a way I see this as a false image we put on. An avatar so to speak. Lets all keep in mind that, while emotions are real, they are undependable, unreliable, inconsistent, and they change from one moment to another, often rapidly. Making decisions entirely based off emotions is like allowing a drunk to get behind the wheel of a school bus.--the bus will be all over the road and it isn't going to turn out well for anyone. Emotions should have a 'seat' on the bus, just not the drivers seat. The #1 antidote for living life based on the emotions we feel, is to remind ourselves: feelings are real! They just aren't fact. This is what I feel but this is what is true. This struggle will go on for most of our lives. For we all wage war, well those fighting the good fight wage war, others are succumbing to the irrational animalistic side of their nature. The spiritual being that is the 'real you' is incarcerated inside a wordly shell of false emotions. Like an acorn seed itself, it cannot grow unless watered (by the word) and transformed into what it was created to be. Germinate! We all must poke our heads outside the topsoil into that which is real life and continue to ask for the healing rays of the sunshine and bask in the fresh rain of the divine comforter. Without which we shall surely perish.
Now back to my idea of the "avatar", this front or pretense we put on, begins to get phonier, more false, more unauthentic, more selfish and more demanding. As a result we become disillusioned and less personable. This avatar (false image) becomes an idol. Preserving the image demands and receives more and more of our attention, more and more of our energy, more and more of our life. And we demand that others help preserve the image, making them accomplices in our identity crises. If others do not co-operate, then our internally -focused, self absorbed sense of entitlement causes us to spiral down into depression, bitterness and even more. For we become more embittered when we watch people interact with the avatar (because we are safely hidden behind it) all the while knowing in our heart that the people who like and enjoy the avatar don't really like and enjoy us. We maintain this pattern as we strive to preserve a situation we have created that brings us the opposite of what we should really be after because we are acting like a someone, or thing, contrary to what the divine maker intended for us--authentic vulnerability---a true lasting fellowship with no crutches of deceit. For any other result, ends in us being less real, less seen, less liked, less connected and we end up with so much less than what God really intends for us to want and need. "Facebook, Instagram, to me are prime examples of avatars". Not that these social networking sites are inherently bad, many times we just build up an inauthentic image we don't like tarnished. But when we are rooted in Christ, the doing flows naturally from the being. Here's an example: a peach tree never thinks "Iv'e got to grow peaches, I've got to grow peaches!" It just grows peaches, because that is what a peach tree--is, so long as it is watered and properly pruned (In this case by the word of God). Our being "in christ" will naturally flow"with the doing (fruits of the holy spirit).
When we focus our attention on Christ and what He believes about us, that we are his "poima" according to the Greek, Paul's use of the word "workmanship" is actually "masterpeice" or living breathing poem, created anew in Christ Jesus, so all those good things he originally planned for us could be our way of life. Not an identity that is inwardly focused on trivial things. Yet a living breathing authentic representation of Gods work. A masterpiece from the hand of the creator. There is inherent worth and honor in being His "poema" or poem. And responsibility as well. For being His "visible expression" means we need to prayerfully seek to have a solid hold on our inherent worth, and find it in Christ, based on what He has already done for us, not based on anything this world says about you to be true. Spoiler alert! its all a lie. God sent his most valuable possession to made a mockery of, spit beaten and staked to a tree all so you could understand how valuable you being made in Gods image really signifies. And its better, ohh far better and more inconceivable than anything you could possibly ever imagine and know. For just as the master artisian seeks to express His heart and mind through his work so the Creator seeks to express His heart and mind through you.