Which is Real? Which is Fake?
The picture looks like a simple yellow flower against the backdrop of a partly cloudy sky. But it’s not. Look again. You might not be able to tell, but it’s actually a picture of a simple yellow flower against the backdrop of a lake, which happens to be reflecting the partly cloudy sky. Yes, that’s really water behind the flower, not sky. It’s interesting, isn’t it? Granted the angle is a bit odd, but one might be thoroughly convinced that what’s behind the flower is indeed clouds with the sun trying to peek out. But again, it’s not. It’s actually water behind the flower. Weird, huh?
Sometimes when we look at other people, what we see is a reflection of something else. We see them against a backdrop of clouds—pain, sorrow, hard living, brokenness, bitterness, deception, anger, or failure. Other people we see reflect the complete opposite. They reflect the sun breaking through—joy, confidence, encouragement, kindness, a sweet spirit, a positive attitude, patience, or tenderness.
There’s a gal at work, who honestly I can’t say I know well, but she appears to be quite bubbly on the outside, yet quite sour on the inside. Publicly, she’s positive, all smiles, and “bubbly.” But one-on-one, she’s very hard-faced, negative…and “sour.” (As an aside, I can’t figure those people out. I truly don’t know what to do or say around them.) I often wonder when I’m around her if what I see behind her exterior is the sky or the lake. Which is real? Which is fake?
As I think about the picture of the flower above, I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t how we really are. What people see behind our exterior perhaps isn’t what’s truly there. When people look at us, is it the sky they see, or is it the lake? Which is real, and which is fake?
The Voice translation of Proverbs 27:19 states, “Just as water reflects a person’s true face, so the human heart reflects a person’s true character.”
What do people see when they look at you? What do you reflect? Do you reflect the real thing, or do you reflect something completely different?
I’m not sure I know the answer to this for myself, but there’s one thing I know to be true. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23). This fruit is what I want to reflect. And I want it to be real, not fake!
What do you want to reflect when people look at you?