“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” John 4:24 MSG
If I were to ask you who you 'really are', would you know how to answer that question? Most of us live with some 'made up' image of ourselves and aren't entirely honest about who we are - making it harder for us to be truly ourselves in relationship with others. For some strange reason, we create an image of ourselves as we think others see us rather than accepting the image of ourselves as God sees us. If we were just free to be exactly as God sees us, we wouldn't need to spend so much time maintaining our facade!
When we are transparent with each other, we don't have spend a whole lot of time trying to connect the dots between who we are and the way we live - it just flows naturally. We aren't one way in public, another in private, and still another 'in church'. Some of you will get my meaning there - for many of us put forward our 'very best' in church, because we think that is what others in church demand to see from us. The truth is that the others in church are just as messed up as us and would love it if we could all just be ourselves instead!
Simply and honestly ourselves - these are the individuals God finds very engaging - because in our genuineness he is free to really begin to help us face up to what needs to change in our lives so that we won't need those facades any longer. It takes a lot to let down our guard before God - it takes even more, it seems, to let down our guard before others. Why is that? It is likely because we know there are those who will judge us based on what they see. I found it quite frightening to realize the things I find I am most critical of in others are usually the things I have to deal with in my own life, as well.
While it may not always be comfortable being our real selves, there is a connection made that is genuine - there are no layers of complex 'cover-ups' that get in the way of our relationship. This is the way it should be in our relationship with Jesus - no cover-ups required. If that genuineness begins there, it is sure to begin to spill out into the other relationships we have with each other. Instead of hiding behind cover-ups, we will finally begin to make 'direct connection' with each other. Nothing is more rewarding than being your real self with someone else who is also their real self. Just sayin!