But we all with unveiled faces, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Now this may sound odd to you, but to see the Lord clearly, we must be sure not to cover the eyes of our heart with a veil. You ask, how in the world can a veil cover our heart? We know what a veil is, but what could be some potential “veils” cluttering up the vision of our hearts? We could use our opinions or way of doing things rather than lining our decisions up with the Word of God. It could be a hobby or a habit we work our schedule around. Or, maybe it’s a Christian influencer which has been elevated or positioned as the go-to source for information or motivation.
Most of us would have preferred to look or be like someone else when we went through adolescence. The mirror was not our friend, it was the unveiled truth! The mirror seemed to magnify all our perceived imperfections! We saw all our flaws, and the celebrities looked, talked, and sang so perfectly, we lived to emulate them. We wanted to dress, style our hair, just, be like them. The avalanche of social media influencers has only made this even more difficult for our children.
Long before social media took center stage, there were these things called TV commercials, remember those? One of the most memorable and longest running commercial campaigns centered around a little boy named Mikey and Quaker Oats brand Life cereal. This commercial ran for twelve consecutive years! Imagine any social media campaign lasting even twelve weeks!
TV has certainly changed, hard to imagine what Mikey would be wearing these days. I am glad to have grown up with cereal commercials, Saturday morning cartoons, and programs like The Brady Bunch, Little House on the Prairie, MASH, and Happy Days. It was a much simpler life. We climbed trees, played kickball, and played hide and seek till the streetlights came on. And after dark, we played flashlight tag and caught lightning bugs. We snacked on crab apples, wild blackberries and drank the neighbor’s water hose dry! Those days are long gone, along with good old fashioned advertising slogans like, “He likes it! Hey Mikey!”
Young people aren’t the only people caught up in the social media maze; all age groups graze for likes and attention. There is nothing wrong with supporting Christian influencers, but there is a danger of making them your source of truth instead of our Lord and His Holy Word. If we are going to Instagram or Tik Tok for truth, or the way a Christian should be, screen time could present a false impression on what it looks like to be a living sacrifice for Christ.
If you are living for Jesus and being influenced by Him, the Word says you will be hated by the world, not liked. Jesus warned His disciples about being of the world: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
Anything we allow in our daily walk which takes attention away from the Lord is a veil covering our heart. It could be a harmless thing, maybe even a Christian thing, but if you place your emphasis on it instead of the Lord, you could be missing out on His blessings. If Jesus is not the musical maestro over your heart it could explain why your notes are off key. When Jesus is the conductor, life could be offkey clanging symbols, but in your heart, it sounds like Beethoven’s Fifth!
John the Baptist was the forerunner to Christ, an influencer of the people. People followed John, paid close attention and hung on his every word, even though he was socially out of step. He was not selling wild honey and locusts. John understood his role serving God and encouraging repentance from sin. His platform was to announce the coming of the messiah, King Jesus. The beauty is, John knew he was to step aside once Jesus arrived on the stage.
John did not try to stay on stage with Jesus but instead encouraged his followers to follow Jesus. John knew Jesus should be center stage and second to no one. John 3:30 confirms John’s understanding, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
Sometimes it seems we think we must be center stage to be valuable to the Lord, but nothing could further from the truth. If we really want to influence others and make a difference for Jesus, we need to take our position backstage and shine the spotlight on Him!
Sometimes we allow our traditions to take precedent over what Jesus taught us. Paul speaks to that veil in 2 Corinthians 3:15-16, “Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with a veil, and they do not understand. But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
Paul was speaking about his Jewish brothers. They could not understand the writings of Moses in the Old Testament was about the coming of Jesus. I wonder sometimes if we have a limited understanding of the Savior Jesus. He explains in His Word what he expects, and we place a veil over those things because they are just too hard, or socially out of step.
Things are changing in the world, lining up with His Word. The war clouds are tumbling across the sky, and we have work to do. We must listen to the Lord and imitate Him.