I’m going to start this post off by using an excerpt from another blog I follow (and LOVE!) …
Some women are afraid of me sometimes simply because I’m the pastor’s wife. To them, I represent a spiritual Big Brother, the woman looking into their souls, evaluating them next to the impossible checklist of the correct, perfect, churchy standards of the good Christian girl.
I sense the hiding, the pressure women feel. They cover over the deep parts of who they are, even the stories of God’s grace in their lives because the grace has washed over shameful sin that seems best unspoken.
I know this hiding has little to do with me and everything to do with how women feel about themselves or how women perceive that God feels about them. They cannot fully believe that doing good or being good is not part of the whole grace equation. They certainly find it risky to reveal themselves to other women because, unfortunately, grace is so often withheld in church circles. I know this because I am one who has hid.
Just like Christine I use to hide all the time. I usually hid behind pride. The pride of being a good-girl … never really getting into any real trouble and doing the right thing most of the time. I put forth a persona of one who had it all together. Or at least it looked like that on the outside, but inside, I knew I didn’t have it all together. It was so hard not knowing what to do all the time and never really talking to anyone about it.
Friends, this issue is FOUNDATIONAL. Absolutely foundational to having authentic relationships with one another … authentic community in our church … and amazingly overwhelming spiritual growth in our own personal lives.
We have to be honest.
We have to be honest with ourselves, our God and others.
When we are real with what is going on in life … our pain, our joy, our struggles, our emotions, our tendency to do it all ourselves without relying on Christ and being truthful with the fact that we were never meant to do it ourselves anyway … (whew!) … when we are honest, we are able to hear and speak truth, each one of us, to those around us.
This type of authenticity brings about relationships where you can actually go drop off your kids at school with no make up on and your hair literally sticking straight up in the back (seriously, just happened to me last week!) and not be worried about what others will think of you. It’s the relationships where you can talk about how hard life is and even if the other person responds with condescending comments, you know it’s okay because this is real life and grace is extended through Jesus’ dying on the cross.
Friends, we all have sin. Romans tells us this … “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“. Yet, just like Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, out of shame and fear, we hide.
We hide from each other.
We hide from God.
We hide from ourselves.
What if we didn’t have to hide anymore? What if you, friend, did not have to spend so much time hiding? We’ll explore more on what this looks like in the next post, but for now, give some thought to how you hide.
How do you hide from your friends? What portions of your life do you not let others see?
How do you hide from God? What do you not trust about Him?
How do you hide from yourself? What situation are you not being honest with yourself about?