For a brief moment in my childhood, I wanted to be a magician.
I bought books on magic, studied magic tricks, and collected magic trinkets. I was only 8 or 9 years old at the time, so it wasn’t a considerable collection. But even if I gave up on magic soon after, I should have realized that I’d still have a little bit in me. Because…
Everyone’s a magician.
What’s the standard in every magic trick whether it’s with cards, swords, beautiful assistants, mind control, etc.? The magician presents something to us and while we’re looking, the trick comes from somewhere else. It’s called sleight of hand.
The skill comes in being able to pull it off right in front of the eyes of the onlookers. The best magicians make us think they’re showing us everything. But they’ve really just shown enough to distract you, when the most important elements of the trick are still concealed.
And we all do this in life. We present a front to the world around us, all the while concealing the truest, deepest, darkest sides of ourselves. Like a skilled magician, we present the good sides, the harmless sides, the non-incriminating sides, all the while doing our best not to show people what’s really critical.
Maybe it’s the way we take selfies. We choose our best angles, and automatically conceal others. In social media, we have all become our own PR consultants. We present a front that we think gets us the most favor. The only time we tweet or post anything negative about ourselves is when we have edited the most embarrassing parts out.
Even in our language, we say things like, “I’m sorry IF I offended you.” Instead of something more accurate like, “I’m sorry I’m such a jerk.” Sometimes when I fight Carla, I turn the situation around to make it look like she did something wrong, instead of admitting that I’m just insecure. When we fight people and others find out, we play down our errors in it and magnify their wrongs.
Unfortunately, like most magic tricks, the truth comes out eventually. Instead of covering up ourselves, the life that God has for us is one where we confess our sins and walk in the light. Imagine that life: no covering up, no hiding, no shame. You can acknowledge the worst parts of yourself and still know that Jesus loves you, accepts you, and changes you so you don’t remain the same.
We don’t need to be magicians anymore.
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. Psalm 38:18
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
2 Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:2-5
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:6-9
Next week: Everyone’s a Superhero