Hagiography – the idealizing and often idolizing of the saints.
Perhaps it does no one any favors. Justin Taylor wrote “Hagiography is unfair to the subject, presenting a saint instead of a sinner. And it’s unfair to the audience, who make a good-faith assumption that they are not merely reading a well-written tale or watching a good film, but that they are reading or seeing something that reflects reality and basic accuracy.
Andrew Roberts’s Wall Street Journal weekend review of a new biography on Mahatma Gandhi serves as a good reminder in this regard. Contrary to the sanitized portrayal of Gandhi in popular culture, Roberts explains that Gandhi could be unusually cruel, racist, and sexually perverse—among other vices.”
But couldn’t we all? And then some?
The beauty of God’s grace and forgiveness is that our past is buried deep within the sea of forgetfulness. But while our past is our PAST, it is still OUR past.
This truth continues to resonate in my life – others identify more with our failures than our successes. Glory in our past sin? Never. But sanitize our sinful past? No! God receives glory in and through our reconciliation. May we never air our dirty laundry for the sake of attention. But we should follow that still small prompting of the Holy Spirit that invites others into the real you. It’s ok. Your failures are not unique. Our stories of falling down and getting back up can and will be used to bring a smile to the face of our Creator, so stop sanitizing!
You are who you are, and somebody someday will need to know the real you….to help them embrace the real them.