“No one tells you that the shields you carry to keep you safe, they become the steel cages that keep you alone. You breathe different in a room when you know it’s not about the good you can accomplish but about the grace you can accept. When we breathe in grace, we finally believe we can be real – and only then can we begin to be changed into the realist versions of Holy Grace Himself. “
There was a Facebook post today that caught my attention. It said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes reality with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Isn’t this so true? I like this quote because I can relate and I’m thinking a lot of people can. With Facebook being such a public social network, it’s tempting to make our lives out to be picture perfect or only share the good stuff. We assume our friends, at least the real ones, want to know the good news as we do enjoy hearing theirs. I really do. Facebook is fun and I really try not to take it too seriously. But…
In real life, I can forget who I’m supposed to be pleasing. I don’t have to impress Him either, He just wants my love. Why do I care so much about pleasing or impressing people? Seriously, sometimes I think I’m done doing that, it seems kind of childish and then it creeps up again. One thought is that “we look on the outward appearance” as the Bible says. In my mind, there’s a certain way I want people to perceive me, my family, my life or my home-so on goes the masks or striving. I’m really fooling no one if it’s anywhere near perfection. What will they think of me if…? It’s pride and leads to the dreaded comparisons.
As long as God is pleased, shouldn’t that be my focus? I don’t think He expects perfection on our outward, not even inwardly though that is His ultimate goal and He’s in the sanctification process in each of our lives as Christians. I’m so thankful “He remembers that I am dust” and “He does not repay according to my sin.” (Ps. 103) I want to love people for who they are in Christ. We are called to love. Trying to impress someone so that I look good isn’t loving them. I’ve found myself wanting to do things well that I don’t even really enjoy (for me it’s some crafts and baking esp. cakes) and letting it create discontent in me. It can also drive you crazy. I don’t think God intended this. If I’m doing what I’m doing out of love, it won’t have to be perfect and it will be less stress and more enjoyable.
As long as human nature is involved, man is going to look on the outward appearance. I’m so thankful though that God looks on the heart and I have to constantly remind myself who I’m supposed to be pleasing. Not impressing Him, but loving Him. I’m loving Him when I’m loving others, reaching out to those in need, making the calls, being a good listener, playing the game, spending the time and being real. Life can be hard and we need to bear each other’s burdens.
By his grace, I want to really love others. I want to be a safe friend, one that cares, one without a mask and one that when you’re with me, you don’t have to wear one either. In Jesus eyes, we’re all in the same place, from the richest and most talented, to the poorest on the street, we’re messy sinners that are in need of His redeeming grace. When He is a part of our lives, we all stand complete and whole in Him! Amen.