“Once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
“Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
―Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
In our culture,
even especially in Christian culture most people exude a life of perfection. A life that has no flaws. No trouble. A life that has no confusion. A life that is self-sufficient. The problem with this is that it’s not real.
Let’s face it, most of us are afraid to be truly transparent with loved ones let alone “other people” or *gasp* on social media…especially social media. I mean we all have this persona to maintain right?
The mom’s are the worst on social media…(I can say this because I am one)… We post perfectly posed pictures of our beautiful babies dressed like they came out of a BabyGap catalog and hugging their smiling siblings; boasting our parenting skills. Never mind that despite this perfect moment for a picture, little Jimmy was a total dirtball most of the day wearing only a diaper. We don’t share the truth about how just before the flash of the camera big brother, Tommy, pushed and yelled at his brother….Oh wait is that just my kids?
We all do this. I have been guilty myself…but sharing and being REAL in life is not JUST that which we share on social media. I understand many people don’t feel comfortable sharing anything personal on a site like Facebook…and that is ok. It’s where you are. As someone convinced that transparency in ALL circumstances is worth it, I respect those that hesitate sharing publically. But can I challenge you for a moment? When it comes to your real relationships…are you getting dirty? Are you getting real? I’m talking down in the dirt real. The stuff you fear if you share with those in your life you risk being labeled as the “former druggie” or “THAT mom.”
Are there risks of sharing the REAL you with others both publically and relationally? Absolutely! There’s the good, the bad and the ugly for being real; transparent. But, when truly transparent there are no secrets, no deep voids, there is nothing to fear, only freedom. The weak reward that was once satisfied from pleasing others is replaced by an affirming power from within our Spirit. Power from Christ is continuous, it is free, and more satisfying than any other reward that can propel one into the assignment of servant.
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 1 Pet 2:16
Accusation based on information we try to hide threatens self, but when we allow that information to become a non-threat by “Being REAL” the accusation of it holds no power over us and is revealed as a lie. When we share transparently we allow others to witness the transformation of our character. The metamorphosis that happens over a time is seen when we are real from beginning to end. It bears witness to the genuineness of the transformation to each in our influence. Even when we become stuck in an area of our lives that hasn’t yet experienced transformation it speaks of the genuineness of our character when we confidently speak of it rather than hiding it.
Let’s face it though…being real and transparent is not necessarily easy to begin practicing. People sometimes like to see our problems to make themselves feel better. To knock us down. Sometimes people might even like the fact when things seem to be going wrong because it makes their lives look better. The truth is although these perversions of our truthfulness can happen, Christ’s motive to use our transparency can be used to transform those very individuals whom celebrate our failures.
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
The idea that the truth will set us free is an outcome of transparency. Beginning in transparency is better done with someone that can be trusted. Exposing darkness requires light. Are you transparent with Christ? He already KNOWS your heart. But are you willing to rest in that he loves you no matter the behavior, no matter the darkness you are afraid to have come to light? He is your most trusted relationship.
Being real and transparent with our relationship in Christ and in turn with others in our lives (either through personal relationship or yes, even on social media) allows one to shift from hiding behind pretense to genuine living. Personally, the Lord has convinced me to live in this way. It has been a risk. It has hurt. It has caused heartache. But ultimately it has been freeing and been catalyst to experiencing Christ’s love in ways I could not have imagined.
The real risk of being real is Freedom. Are you willing to risk your perfectly crafted reputation for freedom? For something real…for love? “Once you become real you can’t become unreal. It lasts for always.”
Will you become real with me?