Friday, March 10, 2017

True Transparency

"It's okay to not be okay"

This is a saying that Matt Chandler says they use at his church, The Village Church in Texas.

For some reason, in our world of Pinterest perfection and Facebook facades, we have come to believe that we have to have "it" altogether all of the time. We put all kinds of crazy expectations on ourselves and allow Satan to convince us to think less of ourselves when we fail to measure up to the impossibly high standards we set for ourselves.

On top of all of this, life happens and it can be painful and hard. Whether our pasts and presents are our own doing or have been done to us, we still feel a responsibility to put our "best" face forward. Maybe even as a result of all we've been through, we put on a veneer and shut people out for various valid reasons.

For those of us who have grown up in the church, we know the "game" and how to play it in the pews and hallways of shiny sanctuaries. We know when to sit and stand. We know in which part of what song to raise our hands. We know the right words to say to keep everyone close, but not too close.

Dear Sister,  please hear me say, "It's okay to not be okay." Give yourself permission to hurt and feel. You CAN make mistakes. You WILL fail. I know this to be true, because we all do all these things: hurt, feel, make mistakes and fail.

It is here in our shortcomings and failures, where our deepest needs are felt. It is here where God gladly meets us, counting all our tears and, if we let Him, intervenes.

When we are vulnerable and honest with Him, He can redeem our pasts and give worth to our current circumstances. His grace covers it all.

Chandler often explains that we can't just stay "not okay," but the only way things can really change is if we are willing to confess that we aren't "okay."

In my last post, I pointed out that God knows all of us anyway. We may try to compensate with good deeds and polished prayers, but He has shown He loves us, sending His Son to die for us while we were still sinners and far from Him.

God is the first One we need to real with. Once we are open and honest with Him, confessing our worst and letting Him make us new by healing us from within and setting us free from the bondage of our own expectations - then we can be real with ourselves and with others.

It is in this transparency with Him, that we can live in a sincere joy for today and in an honest hope for tomorrow.... When He is that real to us, we will want Him to be that real to others too.

Life then is no longer about us, but God using us to show Himself to the world - That's true transparency, being so real that only He is seen....

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