“Relationship, not information, is the real gain of honesty. Company, more than data, is what our souls truly seek.”- Alicia Britt Chole
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart.”- Psalm 13:2 (NIV)
“My Father, I do not understand you, but I trust you.”- Basilea Schlink
In Chapter 16 (“Growing Pains”) of The Night is Normal, Alicia Britt Chole presents the first of nine tools to help us navigate disillusionment with God. Yet, Dr. Chole observes, many are understandably slow to acknowledge this. Often it takes year to process disillusionment with self and others. Only then does a soul give itself permission to direct disillusionment Godward.
1. When disillusioned with God, God is not disillusioned with you. Most significantly, Dr. Chole states, God delights in your honest questions. And even your honest accusations. Because honesty about God and with God serves as the antithesis of hiding from God.
In addition, Dr. Chole stresses the colossal waste of energy we exert in hiding our disillusionment from God – and ourselves. Sincere questions aren’t half as lethal to our faith as denied doubt.
2. When disillusioned with God, honesty places you in good company. In Chapter 17 (“Cookies and Candor”), Dr. Chole says that our shared honesty about spiritual pain draws us closer together. That’s crucial, for sometimes in the dark we find it hard to see each other.
Furthermore, Dr. Chole notes that our challenge arises from what we do in and with our disillusionment. Above all, we run into problems when we process our pain apart from God’s company. When we self-protect to isolate ourselves from His love. As Oswald Chambers once explained in Baffled to Fight Better:
“Real suffering comes when a man’s statement of his belief in God is divorced from his personal relationship to God.”
In conclusion, Dr. Chole exhorts, with Jesus = the best company we can keep. During the brightest parts of the day as well as the darkest nights of the soul.
Today’s question: What do you see as the real gain of honesty? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Connect all the dots?”