13 May HOnesty?
Think back to the last time someone showed up at your house unannounced. Did you frantically run around, hiding the unfolded clothes and cramming dirty dishes into the dishwasher as the kettle boiled? Did you spend your visit worrying that your guest might have a glimpse into the chaos that is your family?
What about the last time you were asked about how your week has been or what has been happening in your life? How much did you filter out, twist to sound better or brush over as if it wasn’t important, when it actually had a big impact on you?
How much of your life is edited so that people only see the highlights?
Our lives are messy. They are a mixture of excruciating heartbreak and incredible joys, a confusion of chaos and peace. We move through days and seasons where all of this is happening at once and other times where it seems dull and lifeless. This is not because there is anything wrong with us, this brokenness is part of living as humans.
We all face fears, insecurities and doubts. We all experience anxieties, have disagreements and arguments with our loved ones, and have moments filled with turmoil and distress. All of these experiences happen because we are alive. They happen because we love.
We all know the story of the fall into sin. We know that brokenness entered the world, that we are broken. In theory we know this to be true, it is what we are taught through bible stories, catechism and through the sermons on Sundays. However, this looks very different in practice. Our pride gets in the way and we try to convince ourselves that it isn’t really that bad. We ignore our doubts, placate our insecurities and overlook our sins. We try paint the picture that our lives are just right, that we have everything all together, that we are good Christian people.
How much do you work to present an image of what is going on, drawing attention to the good and dismissing the ugly?
How honest are you about your life? About your doubts, your fears and your insecurities? How honest are you to your friends? Your church family? Your spouse? How honest are you with yourself?
How honest are you with God?
When we open our Bibles to the book of psalms, we see pages of tears, or heartbreak of distress and of confusion. We read of great joys and deep sorrows. We see the brokenness of what it means to be human. The words in the psalms are honest. They are the truth of what the psalmist is experiencing, the truth of the human condition.
We need to fill our conversations and prayers with the same honesty of the psalms. We need to open our hearts, share our souls and be vulnerable. This vulnerability starts in our prayers, it starts with what story we tell ourselves of who we are and spills over into the story we tell those in our lives.
God meets us
In his sacrifice on the cross, Christ has made it possible for us to come before him openly and honestly. We don’t need to edit our prayers or filter out the darkness when we come before Him. He knows our darkness. He knows our brokenness. He is intimately aware of our experiences. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need –Hebrews 4:15-16.
God is right there in the middle of our pains. He is right there in the midst of the brokenness. God is the strongest in our weaknesses. His power shines the greatest when we are powerless (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). When we are honest about our brokenness, and share our pains, turmoils and anxieties, God meets us. He draws us to him so that we may rest in his strength and security.
As we tell the story of our neediness, the focus shifts and the main character is no longer us. Pride is replaced by humility as we focus on the work of God in our lives. We see how his strength shines through our brokenness.
Are you ready to be honest about what is really going on in your life?
Are you ready to tell the truth about your brokenness? Are you willing to share your neediness?