Saturday, November 21, 2015

Let's be Real

It all comes down to a choice.

     Every second of every day, you make a choice. You cannot escape making choices, and you will not always know what those choices will bring. Sin is a choice. So is redemption.
     I heard a story once about a woman who threw a pitcher on the ground and then spent all night putting it back together piece by piece. It was tedious and occasionally painful. When we are presented with the choice to give it all up for God, it is not an easy-ride ticket for the rest of life. It's going to hurt at times. It's going to be hard. It's going to be way too easy to invent a million excuses for why we can't or won't. But it is worth it.
     Some of the hardest nights we will ever endure are the ones where we begin to question why we've chosen this path. Every little insecurity becomes a whisper in your mind asking you is this really worth letting go? Can I make it? Am I enough? Is God enough?
When you look at your face in the mirror, just your face without any makeup or anything on it, what do you think about? What makes you decide to reach for foundation, blush, mascara; what fuels this need to cover, conceal, hide what we really look like? Why do we photoshop and retouch and still feel unhappy about our photos? And ultimately, what are we so afraid of?
     God did not create us to be afraid. "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV). We are haunted by our insecurities and fears of what other people will think and we are so absorbed that we forget how much greater God is than all of this. Our fears prevent us from being real and honest with people. How many times have you told someone "I'm good" even when you're a half-step away from breaking down? We lie because we are afraid of looking and feeling weak; because the thought of how other people might react to our honesty is frightening. But it shouldn't be. God created you with exactly the flaws and strengths He wanted you do have. Nothing you endure is without the guidance and presence of God. We are the children of God and we were made for more than this. 1 John reminds us that "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18, NIV).
     Like I said at the beginning; it all comes down to a choice. We can let ourselves drown in our insecurities, or we can choose to let God cast them away. We can surrender to our fears or we can choose to fight them with God's help.
     Put down the makeup brush. Stop with the retouch tools. For just one day, stop telling people you're fine and admit to them that you're struggling. Remember that God lets us go through troubles so we can grow, and there is nothing to be ashamed of in admitting that you are not perfect because neither is anybody else. When we lie to ourselves and others by concealing our hurts and our faults, all we do is isolate ourselves and make ourselves feel alone with our fears and failures. God gave us community to build on each other. So today, maybe for the first time in your life, try reaching out. Step outside of your insecurities and remember that God's love is enough to overcome your fears. When we are able to be real with the people around us, we start to bond through our struggles and our relationships with each other and with God are strengthened by it. It's a terrifying choice, and it's probably going to hurt a little or possibly a lot. But no matter how much it hurts, God will not let it kill you. Sometimes the hardest decisions to make are the best ones when we're able to take that leap.


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