I’m Glad the Bible Isn’t Photoshopped

There has been much written about the scourge of Photoshop, the program that enhances nearly every photo we see in magazines and on the net. Every blemish, every wart gone. No fat from that Christmas candy. Every muscle perfectly toned from hours of disciplined exercise, oh, sorry, every muscle perfectly toned from a few clicks of a mouse.

With the right computer program, you can even generate a completely artificial computer perfection. The face at right is constructed from the best features of 22 different beauty pageant contestants. She’s not just beautiful, she is actually more beautiful than any real human face is physically capable of being.

The danger of Photoshop is obvious: we see this unrealistic unattainable beauty, and then we start comparing it to the real people in our lives. Not suprisingly, the real people always come up short. No one can live up to the dazzling standard of perfection that Photoshop gives us.

But the danger extends beyond photographs: we are also exposed to “Photoshopped” lives as well. We watch movie romances where the men and women respond perfectly to each other, or if there is any conflict it is perfectly orchestrated to work itself out within an hour of screen time. At the end, the leading man or leading woman says and does everything just right, and everyone smiles and sighs, “Why isn’t my life like that?” If not romance, we see the team win the big game, the family work out all their differences, the girl get her big break. We subconsciously question why we can’t have a perfect life since we see ones lived out before our eyes on a screen or in the pages of a book.

But there’s one book that isn’t Photoshopped at all, and I’m very thankful for it. It’s the Bible. All of its people are real, with real joys, real struggles, real failures, real hope. We see where a truly good king can become so lost and entangled he commits murder. We see where the strongest man in the world cannot control himself, becomes a blind slave, and yet finally sees the light in the end. We see how a man who truly loved Jesus denied him, but later died for him.

The Bible shows us that people, all people, are human. That there is selfishness pettiness & foolishness in us all. And that God’s love & grace extend to us all, and can work miracles.

Most of all, we see that there was one man who did not need to be Photoshopped, who the Bible could present in every detail of his life to be human, and yet beyond human in his perfect love & strength & wisdom. We can gaze on the perfect image of Christ, and realize with hope & joy that through God’s grace He is transforming us too into His likeness.

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