Sometimes we put all this pressure on ourselves. Sometimes Satan sneaks in a lie or two--that's what he is good at. And then there are times when people just put pressure on each other, whether it's been spoken or not. I think we humans cause each other at least as much harm as Satan does because even in our own efforts to look outside ourselves we take some extreme approach. We're hard on each other and we show little compassion. We refuse to see past the stuff on the surface, clenching our own narrow-minded ideas.
" Jesus Wept." John 11:35It's becoming more and more uncommon for humans to show emotion to each other. We see it in marriages and families all the time. Many husbands think that their wives only need to see their strength, which couldn't be further from the truth. And many of us wives convince ourselves that it's wrong to be vulnerable to anyone, even our husbands. We fear telling our husbands about our feelings and mindset struggles because we fear that our husbands will think we're weak. And so, we miss out on opportunities to grow together as one.
We even teach our children, through our actions, that it's best to build a hard exterior towards others in order to protect themselves. We teach them that trusting anyone aside from us will do nothing but get them hurt. And then when they harden up towards us we stand there dumbfounded. Sound familiar?
I'm forced to ask myself some hard questions: What if my someone thinks ill of me for revealing my heart? What if they abandons ship once they see the ugly things in my heart?
Those questions force me to ask myself yet another question. "Who do I really serve?"
If I seek to please someone more than Him, then I have a bigger problem and it's called "idolatry". If I disobey God in order to serve man, then I have created nothing more than an idol before God.
My effort is not to slap anyone's hand because, if you've read my blogs, you know that I only talk about areas where I've been myself. Last night, as I watched the show "Hoarding: Buried Alive" and as I sat there with my mouth hung open to the things I saw, God spoke to my heart about something He's been working on me for quite some time now. I often hide behind an emotionless exterior because I fear what others will think of me. And that fear just has to go, if I'm going to grow any further. Here are some things He showed me about the fear of showing others what's on our hearts.
There is no strength in hiding. Faith calls us to have courage to believe and obey, no matter what seat you have in the arena and the view it provides. Courage is refusing to hide and challenges us to overcome our fears. Courage brings us out from behind the rocks that we hide behind as it brings about entirely new mindsets and thought patterns. Courage starts with transparency in our Christian walk and transparency is nothing more than complete honesty, to ourselves and to others. We, as believers, are called to be courageous. If we are led more by our fears than by Him, we're missing out on the blessings of faith.If other people think we're something that we're not, and that we're stronger than we really are then it's not just their problem. There is real danger in hiding who we are / our struggles from those around us. I've seen more people give up on something because they had the perception that no one else struggles like they do, therefore they conclude it must not be meant to be. Others grow angry and bitter with the other person because they perceive the lack of emotion as a lack of concern.
That being said, I'm not advocating that we say whatever we want to others. That's not Biblical either. We're called to be compassionate, yet firm. I'm not advocating that we focus on only our struggles either and become a bunch of whiney babies. The Bible commands us to have self control. That does not mean we lie about who we are, it means we control ourselves from sin as we practice transparency.We have to learn to look beyond the opinions and expectations of others and realize that other people need to know that we struggle too.