Photovotional — “My Avatar”
November 11, 2011
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A few years ago I hadn’t seen or heard the word avatar. Now I’ve watched a movie with this title and I have my own avatar as you see in this blog post.
My understanding of the meaning of the word avatar is that it’s an electronic or digital representation of something, usually a person. My son created my avatar for me using his iPhone. He has me in casual business attire, fairly accurate as to how I dress while going here and there and back again as a pastor doing my pastoring. He’s given me the appropriate gray hair and beard. I’m also standing in a coffee shop (my office away from the church office) holding, what else, a cup of coffee (bold, no room for cream).
My avatar is a fairly accurate portrayal of my appearance and even gives a hint of my lifestyle. I could, however, have had my son create an avatar of me that would have looked like I would like to look, and not how I look. That’s the thing with avatars; you can be whoever you want to be. Our digital identity can easily be manipulated to whatever we want it to be. In fact, one of the problems with social media is that you can portray yourself other than you really are. This is nothing new. Jesus talked lots about doing this. He called such a person a hypocrite.
Jesus often saw the religious leaders of His day as being hypocrites. One time He said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27) A strong word picture; a tomb painted white to look nice on the outside but stinking with decomposing flesh on the inside!
I realize that I not only have a virtual world avatar but I have a real life avatar, the “me” I want others to see. Unfortunately I find it easy to portray myself as someone other than I really am. I’ve often said that if some of my thoughts were put up on the church screen for all to see I’d be out of a job!
One of the objectives in my walk with Jesus is to have my private thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions come closer and closer to matching my real life avatar, what I present for people to see. I want to be the best me I can be, inside as well as on the outside. I want the real me and my real life avatar to be moving toward being one and the same. In fact, I’d like to have the real me and my real life avatar look like Jesus!