Relational grace: Being Real

So you know those moments (or maybe whole days) when you cringe to think of someone taking a peek into your heart? You're sure they'd never look at you the same, or immediately start working on your commitment papers.

If they only knew how desperate, how weak, how needy you were.

No, that doesn't describe you? Me either. Good. Insert picture of a child doing something adorable and blog post done.

But let's be real. There are days when I feel everything, from my child's stuffy nose and half-used tissues strewn across the floor to the incessant arguing, is orchestrated for my torture, I mean, sanctification. And I am FAILING, it seems in every way. 

I've been sharing ways I see the Gospel affecting relationships, and I think a huge result of embracing the truths about ourselves in Jesus--that we are way more sinful than we thought, but way more loved and accepted in Him--is that we are free to pull up the blinds of our hearts, let the light fall where it may--even on our weaknesses, our sins, our neediness.

For me, there are a lot of reasons NOT to be real. Here are a few of mine:
  1. People might judge and think differently of me. I like to look like I have it all together. I want to be the person people go to for advice. I don't want people to know how much I really struggle.
  2. It takes some work to communicate my heart. I'm an introverted girl, an internal processor. I forget that people can't read my mind (especially my husband). 
  3. I don't want to need people or burden others. In a way this one feels self-righteous--I can handle this life on my own and I don't want to burden you. But then I've taken away your chance to bless and serve me, and speak truth to me.

But here are some of my reasons to be real:
  1. The cross already says the best and worst about me. It says that I'm so flawed and weak, Jesus had to die to save me. It also says that because of Jesus, I'm approved and made right in the eyes of the only ONE who matters. The image I present doesn't matter. All that matters is me living for Jesus' reputation, and bringing Him honor for all He's done for me.
  2. Being real makes me closer to other fellow sinners. I John 1:7 says, "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."  We have nothing to hide and trap us in shame, because we know we are forgiven. Because of Jesus, those things that plague us don't have to enslave us. 
  3. Our weaknesses point to Jesus' power at work in our lives. 1 Corinthians 12:9-10: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 
    I don't need people to think that I'm great and have it all together. I don't need to be the girl everyone comes to for advice. I only need to be the girl that points people to Jesus and the answers only He offers. I need people to see that the power at work in me is despite my weaknesses, that HE is strong in me.

  4. Sharing the real you is a form or discipleship, helping others live like Jesus. By being real, I can let people come alongside my walk with Jesus and see how it works in the messy day-to-day. 
Keep it real, friends.

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