When I was 26 years old, I was the greatest … in my eyes. But when I met someone I was infatuated with, I would try hard to hide the skeletons, hurts, defects, scars, and fears swirling inside of me. But of I really was great, what was I hiding and why? I feared that if she saw those things, she would surely reject me. I was posing, pretending to be someone I wasn’t.
So many activities and experiences from childhood reinforce this scary and isolating concept of conditional acceptance. I know now that my parents loved me through thick and thin. But many times when I was a kid, that wasn’t so clear to me. I would interpret, actually misinterpret, their words, facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, consequences, or sharp critique of my activities as rejection, rejection based on my performance.
You see, most Earthly systems, excluding our government, are mainly works-based systems. Perform well, and get lots of acknowledgment and rewards. Mess up, and get criticism and lose a lot. Even in church, memorize a verse … get a gold star. Do well in youth group … get asked to join the worship team. Make a mistake … people gossip. If a Pastor’s wife is shy … she is viewed as cold.
Unfortunately, this conditional acceptance is a habit or pattern of thinking and viewing the world that flooded into my spiritual world as well. For so long, I had closed off parts of my life from God. I didn’t want Him to reject me, so I tried to hide my broken areas. I believed I could only bring a “cleaned-up” version of myself to Him.
How ignorant … how futile. Wounds and sins that we try to shut away from the light of His love will only fester, get worse, and then infect other areas of our life. Like a computer virus, we usually don’t realize what happens until a lot of damage occurs. Secret sins that we try to “hide” from our Lord can split off and develop lives of their own … controlling us without our knowledge while creating and building debilitating fear in our relationships and actions.
Today, open yourself completely to God. Open yourself to His transforming and healing presence. Let his brilliant love-light search out and destroy your hidden fears. Tell Him directly about one fear you struggled with today. The sooner you let Him into all those areas, the sooner His instruction and healing can soothe your hurts, and transform your heart and mind for lasting fulfillment and joy. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father, You know me inside and out. I no longer want to hide things from You. I am tired of hiding my wounds from You, then having to bear them all myself. Thank You for taking my yoke, and bearing my pains. I pray that Your love-light will seep deeply into the inner recesses of my being. Help me to understand Your perfect love … and to believe that perfect love drives out all fear. I pray this in the unconditional name of Jesus, and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18