November 21-22, 2015
When I was 20 years old, I was the greatest … at least in my own eyes. But, I noticed an inconsistent behavior pattern. When I became interested in someone, I would try hard to hide the skeletons, hurts, defects, scars, and fears inside of me. Now, if I had really been as great as I thought I was, then what was I hiding … and why? I knew that if she saw those things, she would surely reject me. I was posing. I pretended to be someone I wasn’t.
Many childhood experiences reinforce this scary and isolating concept of conditional acceptance. I know now that my parents loved me through thick and thin, but many times during childhood, it wasn’t clear to me. My parents had high expectations and I would interpret, their words, facial expressions, threats, tone of voice, body language, consequences, or critique of my activities as rejection.
Most earthly systems, excluding some present government policies or socialism, are works-based systems. When you perform well, you receive lots of acknowledgment and rewards. Messing up results in criticism and losing a lot. Even in a grace-based institution like a Christian church, we have the same traps: memorize a verse … get a gold star; do well in youth group … get asked to join the worship team; make a mistake … people gossip.
Unfortunately, this conditional acceptance was a habit that seeped into my spiritual world as well. I had closed off parts of my life from God for a long time. 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 only fester and then infect other areas of our life. We usually don’t realize what is happening 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. Expose 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 that has been a struggle 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. Whether you hide or pose with God or you finally get honest with Him and yourself is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, You know me through and through. I no longer want to hide things from You. I am tired of hiding my wounds from You, and bearing them all myself. Thank You for taking my yoke, and bearing my pains. Posing is so tiring. I just want to be myself and see what You can do with me. I am ready for real change from the inside out. 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. Psalm 139:23-24
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