I remember how I used to daydream about being seen by others. There I would be, doing something great for God, being noticed by man and receiving their approval. I had no idea how much this daydreaming would effect how I actually interacted with people, but it certainly did. It caused me to place myself at a distance with others, not allowing them to see my real brokenness. I came off as holier than thou and lacked depth. I wasn’t relatable. I had it all together. At least I came off as though I did.
I was much like the Pharisees, those men who made their tassels long and their phylacteries wide in order to be seen by men. (Matt 23:5) Sure, I wasn’t rockin some huge WWJD bracelet or a cross necklace the size of New Jersey around my neck, but I was certainly desiring to be seen by others.
About a year and a half ago, after it was brought to my attention by some dear friends in Christ, I made the conscious decision to start living differently. It had to start in my heart and my mind. I had to be willing to go to hard places, and when it was appropriate to share my own struggle with sin and brokenness. Once I started doing that I noticed some beautiful things start happening.
1. I became approachable, because I finally started letting go of my pride, I was able to say, I’m messed up too, but we all need the grace of God.
2. I became relatable. As I shared my own personal struggles with sin it gave others the chance to relate with me in the same way.
3. I’ve become more compassionate. You know, it’s hard to receive a rebuke from someone who acts as if they’re perfect. Now, I can better love people in the midst of their sin, challenging them to rise above it and going shoulder to shoulder with them instead of casting down judgement upon them, but not being honest with them about my own.
4. People are starting to get to know the real me. I think too often we fear people will reject us or think poorly of us if we share who we truly are. We think they won’t be proud of us or that we’re a bad Christian, but the truth of the matter is, none of us have it all together. We need one another to walk this journey of faith.
5. My friendships are multiplying and going deeper. Something happens when you start opening up your life. People come around you in love, they support and pray for you. They feel like they can trust you and can share their own struggles without judgement or condemnation.
6. I’m growing in my faith. We’re all in a process as Christians of becoming more like Jesus. I wan’t to live an authentic, transparent life for the glory of God. Now that I’m opening up myself to others, my faith is growing as God starts to work out that ugly pride that has directed my heart for so long.
As I was praying this morning, Lord, I just want to play the background. I want you to be put on display in my life. I want to walk in humility. Although, I still struggle against my pride, I’m not where I used to be. In that, I can rejoice, because that my friends is the power of God.
Don’t fear opening up your life to others. It’s ok to show the real you. We’ve all got junk we’re trying to sort through. We’re all in a process of being made more like Jesus as Christians. None of us have it all together, me included. I’m asking God to shape my heart with greater humility. I don’t want that old prideful woman to win out. I want Christ and His humility to be seen in me. I pray you’ll ask God to do the same in you. When we do, something beautiful happens in God’s people. As His body says, you’re broken, me too, but God can make us new.