"And even worse- when the opportunity arises to actually come clean with the soiled spots of our life history- we instead make believe everything is, and always has been, a series of perfect events. And in doing so, we make ourselves into the very fakers we detest. We convince ourselves that this is what Jesus wants-- a wipe clean facade."
"It is in the rough stuff where we truly become more and more like Christ, because it is amid the lousy where we experience life on a deeper level."
"Our lives are not shattered pieces. This whole world is a puzzle and each of us fits next to those around us."
- Mark Steele
It's a premise we hide behind. Through our social networks, we pretend that we lead the perfect life: we have the perfect job, the perfect set of friends, the perfect family and of course thenperfect boyfriend. We often hide away behind our computers trying to make ourselves appear something that may not be exactly close to home.
And it's not like I'm promoting for you to broadcast every single detail of your life on the internet but truly the underlying question is this: what drives us to always want to embody perfection?
Today I started reading a hilarious book called Christianish by Mark Steele and in the first two chapters alone, I have compiled a sizable amount of quotes that would take me hours to take me hours to transfer from the book to this entry (yes I still do that :p)
Basically Mr. Steele (not the Anastasia kind :p) challenges us to ask ourselves why we think that being a Christian means we hide away the ugly stuff in our lives. He proposes the question feared by most to voice out, "If something wrong happens to me or if I do something wrong, will I be condemned?"
I believe that being a Christian does not give me a free card-- in fact by surrendering all of I am to Jesus, I am finding a better version of myself-- but only by His grace.
But guiltily, there were times that I kicked the bad stuff under my bed out of the fear that if i wasn't perfect i had no business saying I loved Jesus.
So it felt like i was living two lives: one that I showed in public and one that anguished away at home.
I didn't realize that it was okay to cry sometimes and to not know what to do next.
I thought being lost meant i lost faith in Jesus-- but in truth by becoming desperately dependent on who God is , i was getting into a more intimate relationship with Him and that was what empowered me to move forward.
Loving Jesus does not equal perfection and does not require it. Loving Jesus simply means coming to Him as we are in complete trust that He will be the one to clean us and love us and our messy, uncoordinated lives.
The truth is, being a Christian is not complicated nor does it require for you to perfect an obedience checklist.
At the end of the day, it really is not about what we did but what Jesus did and settled for you and me.
Also, by sharing our stories (our real stories) we step out and encourage others to do the same and in that we find healing and strength because we are not alone, we're putting the pieces together. There is unity in our differences.
Our stories connect us to each other and in the relationships we weave, we find the love of Jesus.
So whatever it is that you are hiding behind, please know that God loves you and will never condemn you, He came to save you, not accuse you.
He has no checklist, He just wants you and yes, that includes everything, whether good or bad.
So take His hand and see your freed life unfold.
He only has good plans for you. :)