Mississippi experienced an event last week that basically shut down the entire state. We got snow, lots of snow. This was the first time my children (two and one) have ever seen snow accumulate on the ground. This was the first time they got to play in it, roll around in it and ask the famous question, “Do you wanna build a snowman?”
Of course I answered in the affirmative, and we began making Max, Olaf’s Mississippi cousin. But then something interesting happened. As we rolled Max into shape, he picked up all kinds of leaves, mud, acorns and twigs. The pristine white powder we expected turned into a brown mush with foreign items sticking out at all angles. My daughter was not pleased because the things before her did not match the image in her head of how her snowman was supposed to look.
My wife and I quickly developed a plan of action. We took clean snow, made sure it was clear of foreign material and packed it on top of the dirty snow Max was made of. He looked great. No one could see any problems with Max because we had covered them up.
Was Max still dirty on the inside? Sure. But he looked great on the outside. Thus he could pass as a “Christian” snowman.
I feel that I have much in common with Max. I know there are things in my life, inside my heart, that are supposed to be foreign to a child of God. But I chose to roll around in them, and I picked them up along the journey of my life.
I, too, have dirty spots and things that stick out of me. I try to cover up by saying the right things, knowing the right songs, reading the right books and watching the right movies. But if you peel back the surface layer, you will get a peek past my veneer and see the true me.
I think most of us are like this. We have an image of ourselves we want to portray to others, an image of a pristine Christian untouched by the dirt of the world. We want others to see us as sparkling and shimmering. We don’t want people to see our struggles, much less our utter failures.
If we spent half as much effort being honest with God and repenting as we do covering up the sin in our lives, I believe our lives would be quite different. For Max, it only took one day and his pretty veneer melted away, and he became three balls of muddy mush.
Thankfully, God has bigger plans for us. His desire is to remove our veneer and help us see ourselves for who we really are, all while saying, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”