But First...Be Real2
As far as social media goes, I identify more as a geriatric woman than an influencer or one of the “cool kids” - ha! When a friend invited me to join a new social media app, I was reluctant but thought maybe this is my chance to update my social media skills. The whole idea of this app is that you get a daily reminder at sporadic times to post your picture along with your friends who get the same notification. It gives you a glimpse into everyone’s daily lives, and they encourage you to “be real” hence the name. My first alert went off, I went to take my picture, but I suddenly froze. Not only did the picture capture what I wanted to take, but it also captured the opposite view. I was not prepared for that. I now understand the “real” part of this app. But I didn’t want to show the laundry sitting on my couch or the disheveled bathroom counter. I began looking for a place in my house that would accommodate such a picture. Then I laughed at how “real” I was really being if I staged this picture.
Most of us fall prey to putting our best in view if we post or share anything. We don’t want people to see the worst of us. So, we share the view that has everything together, the pretty, organized, well-manicured view. Leaving the mess that we all have but keep hidden on the other side of the camera.
As I raced around my house looking for the perfect 360 picture, a thought hit me. As a Christian, do I do the same thing? Do I walk into church showing only the most polished, most put together side of myself? Hiding my burdens and trials. Not being real with my fellow Christians or those who may not know my Lord. Does that hinder my ministry? Am I portraying an unattainable, unrealistic snapshot of the Christian walk? I am not perfect by any means and if a camera could capture the “other side” of my Christian walk some might be surprised that under manicured nails and well thought out outfits, there is a woman who struggles too. The Bible tells us we are going to struggle. We all know we have a sin nature. Why do I try so hard to convey perfection when it’s so far from reality?
Then my mind drifted to my relationship with God. Do I fall prey to the same habits - only showing God the best of me? How foolish of me to think God didn’t see all of my heart! He sees all my mess that I try to hide. But what would happen if I “let” him see my heartaches and struggles? There is a part of me that struggles to convey anything but perfection - is that pride? There is a part of me that stays so guarded because to me vulnerability is weakness. Because of this, I’m not giving God control of my life. And I always feel I must just remain strong, do things in my own strength. But God tells me to bring all my burdens to Him and He will give me rest.
Why would I choose to keep carrying these burdens? It seems ridiculous to do so. However, if I acknowledge my weakness, my pride, my vulnerability and I humble myself before the Lord; there is an incredible freedom in this! But first I must be real about my pride, lack of trust, and need to control everything. That’s a view I would rather not “be real” with. Sweetly, Jesus met me where I was, comforted me and began to heal my brokenness that I tried to hide from Him. In my foolishness I tried to cover and conceal or fix all my problems in my own strength. I can’t accomplish this. I must recognize my need for a Savior for both my soul and my trials. Then in my walk with Jesus, giving Him my burdens, can I be more vulnerable with others? Allowing them to see me if I am struggling that day; be honest with a prayer partner about a burden or sin I’m struggling with. Can I let go of my pride and let others see my imperfections? I know there is power in being real with a close Christian friend. That’s one reason God established the church. He knew we needed each other. Iron sharpens iron.
As far as the “be real” app, I’m still not so sure about revealing so much of the messy side of my life, but what it has taught me is far more valuable! Be real with God. Be real with your Christian friends. Be real with who you are in Christ. I am claiming 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me….. for when I am weak, then I am strong. I think some of the most impactful testimonies are those who reveal their brokenness and their need for a Savior. It’s humbling but it’s profoundly impactful. If my vulnerability can help others, then I’m ready to “be real”, and I encourage you to do the same!
Anchored in Him,
Director of Women’s Ministries TBC