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Saturday, December 17, 2016

What exactly are you saying?

"Love is when you meet someone who tells you something new about yourself." (Andre Breton) I'd also have to say what they tell us about ourselves may not always be what we wanted to know about ourselves! It may reveal some ugliness of character we didn't realize dwelt somewhere deep inside of us. It may bring to light something we thought we'd dealt with somewhere in the past and had no idea has been hanging around, muddling up our emotions and messing with our brains all this time. 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (James 5:16 VOICE)

Truth may be harder to handle than we'd like to admit, but we all realize the only way to really change is to be brutally honest with ourselves, others and God. We might not like it, but until we are, the only thing we are doing is masking our bad conduct and misery. In the beginning, being this honest with one another may be a little more difficult than we might like, but it has such huge benefits if we remain consistent to doing this in love and with mutual respect for each other.

As a parent, some of the hardest times were when I had to just be silent while my kids made mistakes I could have easily "saved them from" if they'd have just listened to my "sage advice". We all face this reality from time to time, because we want our kids to grow up as strong, well-balanced, and generally great adults. In between where they begin to do things independently and make choices on their own until they reach the place they are at the place we'd say they are "generally great adults" they will make a lot of mistakes just like we did.

As a spouse, some of the hardest things to realize about myself what that I was not perfect. In every argument that ensued I would somehow put myself out there as "always" this or "always" that, while the other person in the relationship was "always" this or that. It took me a long time to realize I am very seldom consistent, so the "always" statements really were just masking something I didn't want to admit was occurring when I really wasn't "always" this or that. 

As an employee, sometimes I wanted to be excellent in all that was expected of me, but sometimes I just plain didn't do that great of a job with whatever it was. When my supervisor had to tell me I missed the mark, these were words I didn't always want to hear. Yet, they are the words that made me dig in harder, do a better job, and generally helped me develop as an employee.

The things we mask the deepest sometimes come out when someone else reveals to us they are not as deeply hidden as we hoped they were. The things we don't even know are there are often revealed when we are at our worst emotionally, physically, or spiritually. What we do with these things when they are revealed makes all the difference. We can deny they are there, or we can embrace them, take them to Jesus and ask him to help us with these. The thing revealed may be a little ugly at first, but in his hands even ashes can take on a new purpose!  Just sayin!