“When you can step into openness and stop pretending, you find yourself coming alive. Hiddenness and pretense are always the enemy of flourishing.”- John Ortberg
In Chapter 17 (“Be Human”) of The Me I Want to Be, John Ortberg notes our own need to look better than we are contributes to a culture of superficiality. Thus, if you want anyone to love the real you, you need to work at getting real. And since relationships grow deep when people present their real selves, it’s essential to speak honestly about the sin common to us all.
Therefore, your acceptance from people who know you deeply and fully accept you provides the healing touch through which God’s Spirit flows. Henri Nouwen once described a friend who cares in The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey (1990). Mr. Nouwen wrote:
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives meant the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share out pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. . . . who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness . . .”
In conclusion, Pastor Ortberg notes something remarkable about the inspired writers of Scripture. Those writers never did what churches so often attempt to do- put people on a pedestal. As a result, those who need help the most receive it the least. Because that would mean leaving the pedestal. John adds: “In a community gathered around a cross, there is no room for pedestals.”
So, step into openness – and stop pretending.
Today’s question: What treasured Christian friends help you step into openness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Difficult people in our life”