new life fellowship

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Make me perfect

Its not often I get a chance to sit down on a Tuesday evening and watch the TV. Last week I caught the tail end of a show called “Make me Perfect” – apparently it’s been on for a year or more – all about getting the ultimate make over.

Not only does the participant get her hair, wardrobe and make-up done, she also gets liposuction, her face and body further remodelled, and her teeth made right. Accompanying all this is a day or two of psychological help to enable the subject to overcome the shock of the transformation, and also to overcome the low self-esteem she had.

My wife hadn’t seen it either, and we sat together in open-mouthed shock. Not shock at the processes – although that was part of it; but it was the extent to which this woman was banking on this to change her life that was saddening. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t someone who had been born disfigured, or been horribly scarred as a result of an accident – I can see purpose and kindness in resorting to surgery in such circumstances.

But what saddened me the most was that she was counting on it to really change her, and it couldn’t. Who she is is still the same whether the outside shell changes or not. She gets up and looks in the mirror, and sees her new face and body, and now everyone likes her – how does that help her self-esteem? Now she’s as likely to worry that “They only like me because of my looks, not because of who I am”. The sad thing about the programme is that, instead of helping people, it actually compounds the mindset that caused the problem in the first place. Do we really want to be valued for our appearance? Or is there not a hunger for something more than that?

Added to the hunger for significance is the hunger for deeper change. All the liposuction and reconstructive surgery in the world can’t remove the mistakes of the past, or deal with guilt, or change the attitudes of the heart that boil to the surface when we are under pressure – bitterness, self-pity, anger, jealousy, etc. What’s the use of being made perfect on the outside when you know things are a mess on the inside? You know yourself that you’re just a fake.

What use is it when the cost of getting the outside done is so high that most people can’t afford it? And it still doesn’t prevent the whole deterioration process kicking in again.

On the other hand, I know of a treatment that transforms us from the inside out, it gives freedom from the past, it deals with the guilt and the shame, it treats the symptoms of bitterness and anger etc., it banishes low self-esteem, it brings real and lasting change that doesn’t deteriorate with time. And it costs you nothing.

It’s the ultimate make over and it will result in being made perfect – both inside and out. Why settle for the shabby substitution of TV-land when reality awaits?