Our biggest enemy if often not the devil. It is ourself. We are not being deceived by him or by others. We deceives ourselves. We fail to look at ourselves – what we believe, how we live, our attitude, our thoughts, our morals, our values, our perspective on life, and our priorities. We don’t want to look at ourselves or examine what’s in our heart because we might not like what we find.
But, I believe that in God’s Kingdom it a season for honest and deep reflection about the lives we live and what we think is important and not important. It is time to be honest with yourself.
Are you not tired of pretending? Living to please others? Acting a part? Doing everything to cover up who you really are? Is it not time to stop hiding from yourself and thus from others. It is time to be who God created and called you to be. It is time to decide to live for an audience of ONE.
Am I saying you have to confess all your garbage in from of the whole church? No. With some issues, that might be what God requires of you. But with most personal matters, it’ll be wiser to divulge them only to a small, trusted circle of friends or a lone accountability partner. But this I know, playing the fugitive from the truth about yourself will never bring you lasting peace or freedom to live a full and fulfilling life.
The problem is that it is easier to stay the way you are – to coast and live an average, complacent life. You could avoid risk and keep acting. That’s what most Christians (and even the general population) do. In fact, you’ll often be rewarded for faking it. No one will complain. The status quo is always comfortable. You’ll blend in. Even though you know you were created to stand out.
But if you are sick of shallow, empty relationships – if you’re craving deep, sincere community – then you are going to have to take a chance, to risk it. You’ll risk harsh judgments, misunderstandings, criticism. But think about the reward. Imagine living in the freedom and liberty of fully knowing yourself and being really known by others. Dream about releasing guilt, shame, fear, and doubts. See yourself closer to God – and the people around you – than you’ve ever been before.
The choice is yours: Life as it has been, or life as it should be and could become.
It is my goal to live the most authentic, transparent, vulnerable life a Christ follower can. And here is what I’ve found. Some people don’t like me. But that would be the case no matter what, wouldn’t it? On the other hand, others not only like me, they love me deeply. And the don’t love the image I once portrayed. They love the real me who God created. And, I love them. But most importantly, I have come to really love myself – love who I am and who I am becoming.
The more honest I have become with God, myself, and His people, the richer and deeper my relationships have grown. In the past, I was always afraid of being ‘found out’. I lived in constant fear of people seeing the cracks in my character, of not measuring up. But not anymore. I overcame my fear because I took a chance. And I’ll continue to take obedient, truthful chances. The more I have come to know and love myself (as imperfect as I may be), the more real God has become to me and the greater love I have for those I relate to.
The road to honesty and integrity is the path I choose to take. I won’t play it safe. And neither should you. In fact, you can’t play it safe and please God. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). And walking in faith is always a risk.
Even when our faith is small, God can do great things. As we step out with the faith we now have; as we take that first step toward living a life free of fear … and secrets… and doubts… and insecurities, we will find a deep freedom we have not experienced before. And we will live a life of honesty and integrity. A life pleasing to God. The life you were created to live.