THE INSIDE-OUT REVOLUTION BLOG
Honesty is so rare in our generation. Not the type of honesty that returns a wallet full of money when found in the gutter, but the type of honesty that allows people to reveal a deeper level of themselves to those around them. Now, it would be foolish to reveal personal things to everyone; we do need to be selective with those whom we entrust with our ‘stuff’. However, there needs to be in our lives people whom we trust enough to share our vulnerabilities with; people who will not be tempted to judge or gossip, people who will listen, understand, and stand by, no matter what.
This kind of honesty, and corresponding loyalty, is indeed hard to find, especially within religion. Which is surprising, since religion, and in particular, Christianity, is built on this principle. It was dishonesty, and disloyalty, that led to the revolt by Lucifer in heaven, and it was the same that led Adam and Eve to hide from God. Moreover, Jesus, the founder of the Christian faith, always looked beyond the surface to a person’s true self; to their inner reality. He looked beyond the external façade and saw the heart. Jesus himself was often brutally honest, and demonstrated unshakable loyalty. He also established the notion of community, or ‘church’, which was founded on the basics of love and unity, both of which demand honesty; honesty with others and with ourselves.
In fact, honesty is the cornerstone of the Christian experience, because without it we fail to acknowledge that there is anything wrong with us. When we convince ourselves that we are ‘fine’ and that we do not need any help or guidance, we close the door to God in our lives and we deny the reality of sin, and the hope of salvation. Further, if we lie to ourselves we also cut ourselves off from anyone seeking to connect and help us, for there is no chance they will ever truly ‘know’ us if we do not know ourselves. There will always be a part of us closed off to them.
So, there exists a fundamental need for Christians, indeed everyone, to get real; to get real with ourselves, with those around us, and with God. But how do we do this? How do we achieve real honesty? Well, at its basic level, it must begin with me. I need to take a good look at myself and accept my faulty character traits, and own them. I need to stop making excuses, and stop blaming everyone else, and see myself raw. I also have to ask God to help me achieve a greater level of self-awareness, and help me see what He wants me to see. And then, without descending into despair or discouragement, I need to pour it all out to Him, and give Him permission to help me. God needs this permission before He can intervene; He will not force Himself on anyone. All the while, I must believe that He is real, believe that He wants to help me, and believe that His love is big enough to look beyond the most heinous of imperfections.
Next, I need to find an individual, or two, with whom I can share my deepest concerns. A person that is real, someone who truly cares about me, who’s love is big enough, and strong enough, to accept me as I am, warts and all.
If we take these preliminary steps, then we’re well on the way towards healing and restoration, and we’ll see great changes begin to happen. Our lives will be completely transformed, so long as we stick to the plan and refuse to give up. Once we allow God into the deepest corners of our lives He will slowly change us from the inside out.
Pr. James Venegas
Senior Pastor Community Adventist Fellowship / The Carter Report
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