"NOW she's showing her true colors!"
How many times have you heard this expression? What does it really mean?
Through a Google search, I found the following definition on Wiki.answers.com that matches what I'm thinking when I use that expression:
To "show one's true colors" refers to an individual who has been masking or hiding their true nature, but finally acts or behaves in a way that is more in keeping with their natural character.
When I think about MY true colors showing, I use the phrase when I act out some of the, um, not-so-nice thoughts going through my mind. Maybe I'm short-tempered with someone. Maybe I am quick to judge and treat someone according to that judgment. It's that part of me I consider the "real me" that I don't want anyone to know or to see.
But that's not the truth: that's not the "real" me.
As a Christian, my "true nature" (and therefore my true colors) is my identity in Christ: I am created in God's image, and I have the Holy Spirit living inside me. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Through Christ, I am holy as He is holy. Wow, I have nothing to hide!
And yet I identify with, and own as "just who I am", the wrong things I do more than with who I am in Christ. I am reminded of Paul's struggle in Romans 7:15-25 (NIV, emphasis mine):
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Paul knew that on the inside - his true colors - he delighted in God's law and desired to do what is good. And so do we!
The next time you hear this phrase, remember who you are: a beautifully created masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made, reflecting the glory of the Lord. Your true identity is not in what you do, but in who you are in Christ Jesus.
So let your true colors shine for all to see!