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Rhonda Rhea

My computer told me I should erase my history. I chose the 80’s—solely on the basis of hair. Thankfully my hairstyle changes on a bi-weekly basis. That way I can’t be caught in the same embarrassing style for more than a couple of incriminating pictures in a row.

Every once in a while, I like to do a big-time hair change-up for the travel adventure alone. When I’m speaking somewhere and I’m picked up at an airport by people I’ve never met, I have to admit it’s sort of fun to watch them holding a sign with my name for a few minutes before I confess I’m the one they’re looking for. The people generally will look at some publicity photo they have of me, then they’ll look at me. Pause. Look at the photo. Back at me. Pause. Then they’ll move on to try to find someone who looks more like me than I do.

Yeah, like I would ever have a publicity photo that actually looks like me. It’s not just the hair. All authors and speakers are required to have a publicity photo. But nowhere in any of the contracts is it written that the photo has to be an accurate representation.

I’m telling you, I have a genuine sympathy for photographers. Authors want a photo that looks natural. We want it to depict who we really are. And yet we don’t want any wrinkles. Or spots. Or multiple chins. Or those glasses. Or that nose. And those cheek bones have to go. And pretty much that entire face altogether. It’s a total no-win for the photographer.

When it’s publicity photo time for me, I’ve now completely given up the pretense and resorted to a makeup job that essentially involves painting over everything on my face that I don’t like. Can I pretend that looks natural? Then I still ask the photographer to do some major touch-up—starting with making it into a uni-chinned photo, thank you.

By the time we’re both done, I’m Halle Berry. No one can find me at the airport, but boy do I take a mighty fine pic.

Trying to change ourselves on the inside is even more futile. We don’t change ourselves in that initial work of salvation. Why would we ever think we could change ourselves in the process of our sanctification? It’s time to call in The Professional. Jesus said in John 15:5, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

Paul got it. In Philippians 3:3 he said, “We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort.” (NLT)

Society continually sends us the message that we need to have self-confidence. But self-confidence is not only wishy-washy and unreliable, it’s ineffective. Want real change? Change self-confidence to God-confidence. It’s never misplaced. A person surrendered to Christ and confidently relying on Him will be changed. Period.

The more we know about our God, the more confidence we have in Him. The more we comprehend even the tiniest bit about how powerful He is, the more confident we are that He will change us in every way we need to be changed.

Now, where are the people who were supposed to pick me up at the airport?!

Adapted from Rhonda’s popular book, How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person?

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