Being Seen – The Result of Nothing Hidden
It’s time to let ourselves be seen – not the calm and collected facade we parade before our peers trying to convince ourselves we are good enough. It’s time for our true selves to be revealed – the messy, scared and weak versions of ourselves. The versions where we don’t always know the right answer or make the right choice, where we make messes and may not even know how to begin cleaning them up. We are human beings and none of us are perfect. This may be a let down to those of us who are still aspiring to be a blemishless being of perfection but sadly it is true. Our imperfections are very real and they do cause pain and hurt throughout the course of our lives, intended or not; so it’s quite understandable why we try so hard to hide them from the public and our own consciousness. No one likes feeling less-than and rejected or being the cause of these emotions for someone else. But don’t fret, there are a couple great consolation prizes to being “perfectionistic-ly” challenged as we all are.
First, we aren’t alone. There is an entire world full of human beings and each one of them has messed up, felt insecure, scared, embarrassed, hurt someone and been hurt themselves. Though the fine details may differ for each individual, we all have experienced the human emotions cause by imperfection and sin in the world, both from our own choosings and others. So why is being a part of a big world full of imperfect people a benefit? If we are open and allow ourselves to be truly seen by one another it gives us the power to relate, empathize and encourage one another. We can become a strength and support to one another in times of struggle and draw upon others when we ourselves need help. God designed a world where by being open, honest and connected to Him, we can unify and bond in our quest for life and wholeness in Him. Our victories over sin and struggle becomes other’s victories over sin and struggle – and vice versa. We have an incredible choice set before us to become a unified and beautiful bride of Christ or to stay holed up in the shame and fear of our own imperfectness. The simple and difficult step that moves us towards unity instead of isolation is allowing ourselves to be completely seen and known by God and those around us.
The second reason why it’s not the end of the world that we, the human race, have not attained perfection, is that we have been given the greatest gift known to mankind: Jesus Christ. He lived that perfect life and gave us a way to overcome sin. It is okay to be imperfect and have insecurities and issues as long as we bring them to the light, which is Jesus. By doing this, we allow God to enter into our hurts, pains and fears, and restore and remodel us as if there was no sin or imperfection in the first place. By being completely open and honest with our shortcomings before Jesus, we invite Him into those areas and begin a restoration process towards being a pure and spotless bride.
So what does this practically look like? It means you can say three simple words, “I need help.” We need to lay down the pretense that we have attained our own glory equilibrium and no longer need to go on the journey we went on as newborn Christians asking God and those around us for help. We will never “arrive” while we are alive on this earth. There will always be room to grow and become more Christ-like. The more mature we get in Christ, if we aren’t careful, the greater the temptation is to get prideful. Instead of admitting an area of fear or insecurity and bringing it to God, we try to deal with it ourselves. We cover it up with working harder and performance since our pride doesn’t allow us to admit that we still have something to work on. The truth is, if we aren’t working on something, we’ve probably stagnated on our journey to become more Christ-like. We need to be humble enough where we will always reveal our weaknesses to God and ask for help.
Even though all of us have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, by being weak and allowing Him to make us strong, we are redeemed by Christ which is what true repentance is – turning from our own ways to His. We cannot grow in areas we don’t bring to the light; but when we do and choose Jesus over fear, we invite love into our imperfect selves. Being completely known, yes even the negative stuff, and still being loved and cared for by those around us is truly one of the best feelings we can experience on this earth. We were designed to experience love and connection from one another but that is only going to happen if we become courageous enough to display our true imperfect selves to those around us, allowing ourselves to be known, and giving others permission to do the same.
2 Corinthians 4:2: But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
by Brendon Byrne