A Thousand Words Not Told In A Picture

Have you ever tried describing a spectacular sight, perhaps a place you visited or maybe just the sunset, and your words just couldn’t get across the beauty in what you saw?

Exactly why it has been said “a picture is worth a thousand words.”


Marvao, Portugal at sunset

But in a world where we no longer go develop film and then pick through the batch of often blurry, red-eyed or off-centered shots, our now cropped, edited and filtered pictures aren’t always true to the thousands words they seem to say. 

The problem is we still think they are.

We think in viewing the social media feeds of our “friends” that life is great for them. They are smiling, skinny, fit and fashionable often surrounded by friends in fun settings. Their little ones – all dressed darling and perfectly epitomize sibling love; the older ones – look to be the most perfect teen based on their string of successes and friends.  When we get a sneak peak into these friends’ homes, we see fabulous tablescapes, decor and gourmet meals.  And, we assume these picture tell it like it is, everyday, all the time in their worlds.

The irony is we post our own versions of our best self with similar scenerios though we know the truths behind the facade. We know we only post picture that have been carefully edited to camoflouge the wrinkles, the grey hair and the extra pounds. And the cute outfit and Kendras we have on, we know isn’t our norm. In fact, many days we don’t even get around to putting make-up on.

We also know about the on-going struggles and heartaches at home, the bickering kids  and the spouse we contantly nag, but the thousand words of our beautiful family picture say otherwise. Others see it and wonder why they can’t be like us. Ha!  If the only knew what happens behind closed doors. But too often we refuse to let others in and by the stories our curated photos tell no one would ever suspect life is not a bed of roses.

  • If this is all true about us, why are we so sure everyone else is perfect?  
  • Why do continue comparing ourselves and our lives to the facade?
  • Why can’t we be okay with the mess of who we are and see that everyone else is too?!

I like the way author Kay Wyma asks the question in her new book, I’m Happy for You {Sort Of… Not Really}:

“Has comparison-living hijacked your life?”

This issue of comparison is causing us to feel less-than and robbing our joy. Sadly it’s as true for teenagers as it is for adults. But, if we adults don’t get outside of ourselves to see it for what it is, we are only going to add to the unrealistic pressure our kids already feel. From the teen survey I’ve been conducting their level of stress is already averaging at a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10. The cases of depression and the ways in which they are dealing with it are devastating.

So what do we do? Where do we start?

Answer: Our own hearts.

We must ask the Lord to help us admit our struggles and to see where we are buying into the lie. If our own hearts are discontent and distracted we won’t be able to see where and how are kids are falling prey to comparison too.  We must taste and see what the Word says is true about where “life” is found and not be deceived by the so-called perfect lives behind the pictures we see.

Very practically to undo the lies, let’s focus on the joys. As Ann Voskamp advocates, let’s instead count the One Thousand Gifts of joy and thanksgiving and blessing. We are trying to do this more in our own house by deliberately looking for the daily graces He gives and the little reminders in our days that He is near and that He is good and that in Him there is life – true “life.” 

Looking to the One who was perfect for us is where we must go to reboot our minds and be filled with what His words say about us. It is in Him we are fully loved, accepted, declared righteous and made perfect. The thousands words of the cross is the only picture we need and must see as truth!IMG_7884

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2 thoughts on “A Thousand Words Not Told In A Picture

  1. Pingback: To Live as the Favorite Child | house of hatton

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