when i write, i just really write what’s on my heart. it is basically stream of consciousness thinking, but with punctuation and hopefully correct spelling. i know that my English teachers would bemoan my style of not using capital letters, but i’m not really worried about them grading this blog.
so what comes out of this blog is who i am. oh, don’t get me wrong, you don’t see all of me. that’s because i’ve learned to hide certain parts of me really well. even if you have sat and had a beer or coffee with me, you don’t know the real me. you have a good idea because i am authentic to a point, but due to a lot of hurt and shame, i’ve become really good at hiding the parts of me that i need to protect. it’s called a shame suit. it’s basically some massive armor that often keeps bad stuff in and good stuff out.
i was realizing this the other day when i wrote about the enemy being the father of the lie. i thought, “i’m a pretty notorious liar, but who knows it? and when did i become that way?” i was thinking back through my life and i realized that i didn’t lie to my parents all that much. we lived in a small town and i would’ve gotten caught. i know i stretched the occasional truth to seem important, but i didn’t fabricate that many stories to hide my sin. because my parents didn’t shame me. oh, i got in trouble, but i wasn’t shamed and my mom and dad extended grace to me.
it was when i began to be shamed by others. when i was up against a community of judgement that i really learned to lie. i learned to put on the masks that others expected of me. it compounded in my relationships within the church and ultimately with my wife.
i don’t know that we ever truly knew each other because i was always afraid of being judged and letting her down. i was ashamed that i had lust issues. i was scared to let her know the true me because she might not love me anymore. let me share with you that is no way to live. to hold secrets and then when you do decide to be honest, it is too late.
so i will be as vulnerable on here as my level of trust will allow. i will tell you what i think is safe. i think we all hide parts of ourselves. we’re human. but i want to know that i will receive grace. and although i can hide lots of things from you, i cannot hide them from God. He knows. funny how i project how i’ve been responded to by people onto Him. He does extend grace and He knows what i’ve done, yet i still try to hide.
i was watching my boys play hide and seek the other day, they would count to ten and shout “ready or not, here i come!” and the one looking would always find the one hiding and would chase him back to base. i was the base. i was the safe place.
much like in the game even if i hide from Him, He knows where i am. He is going to find me. He knows what i’ve done and who i’ve hurt and yet He still loves me. He pursues me. in fact He says if we want to hide, we should hide IN HIM! He is the ultimate hiding place and He is the safe base. He is a place to rest from all of that. and in that hiding He teaches us grace and mercy that we can extend to others so that they won’t be ashamed.
what are you hiding behind today? a shame suit? i hope that you can take that off and stand before God in all of your broken nakedness today. it’s what i’m going to try to do. and i’ll try it again tomorrow, and the next day. and i’ll try to tell you the truth, even if i can’t trust you to have grace and mercy on me. we are in this together, and He is for us.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.