Honesty is difficult. If I were to blog about all the things I think, in both the good and difficult times, I wonder what others might think? How would people react if I admitted to the sin with which I struggle, the thoughts I have, the words I say or the lack of faith I possess. It’s much easier to talk about that which is working well. It seems much more “Christian” to speak of the ways I am growing in faith, as opposed to speaking frankly about the private struggles of doubt or behavior. We like a tidy faith. More honestly, I like a tidy faith.
In life, I have few friends who ask me the difficult questions. I have friends who ask me if I’ve gone on a date recently, but I’ve never had a friend ask me if I struggle in my thought life. I have friends ask me all the time what I did over the weekend, but never have I had a friend ask if I felt good about the choices I made over the weekend. I have good friends who ask me how I’m doing, but very few friends who ask how I am growing in relationship with the Lord. It can be incredibly easy to make my way through life without ever being challenged by a friend to think about the integrity of my behavior or to ask me honestly if I have secret shame that I need to speak to allow it’s grip on me to loosen.
Today I had two very refreshing and honest conversations. In each conversation a sensitive topic was brought up. There was an awkward realization that we were about to enter into a place in conversation where we could be honest or we we could be “Christian.” In both conversations, both of us chose to be honest and something incredible happened.
Life entered the conversation.
As we shared honestly about choices made, issues with which we’ve wrestled, and the like, the spirit of the conversation lightened, the friendship deepend and our humanity was normalized. When we speak honestly with one another and are willing to talk about the things we fear being exposed, in healthy relationships, shame never enters the conversation and victory is actually one step closer to reality.
Honesty is key to trust, and honesty isn’t merely just in the things spoken, but also in the things left out. When we only speak of success and overcoming, we paint a picture that perfection can be obtained and in many cases, that we’ve somehow obtained it.
Every human struggles with doubt, sexuality, money, lying, gossip, pride, anger, jealousy, over indulgence, and self righteousness. Every human wants to be loved, accepted and cherished and it is because of these wants, that we are not honest about the struggles of every human being’s experience.
The conversations I had today brought freedom and life. I feel closer to my friends, I feel deeply loved and slightly exposed. I feel relief and normalized and I feel thankful for a God who sees, a God who is not surprised by our behavior or struggles, but a God who simply loves as is. As I’m honest with God, I trust in His love for me more deeply and I lean into it. The honesty actually causes me to love Him more and causes me to want Him more than I want the things with which I struggle.
So as you read this today, I invite you to honesty. Speak the truth. Do not hide the real you. Come out! Be real and lean into the love of a God who sees, who knows and who cares. Your honesty does not surprise Him and will never shame you.
I’ll promise you this, as I continue to blog, I will be honest. I will share or my failure, struggle and process, because it’s real, it’s human and we are in this together.