Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Truth Hurts (Part II)

Returning to the subject of honesty-

Honesty is liberating, isn’t it? Anyone who has labored to keep up a lie once it was rolling will agree. No pretending, no remembering to answer correctly- just honestly dealing with the world as it comes.

I find the converse true as well. Dishonesty is confining. Wearing a mask and pretending chokes out life. Waving the “I’m fine” flag at this point in my life, although, seemingly the path of least resistance, will serve to enslave me over time. I would fear being found out, would constantly work to keep the act going, and would long for someone to listen to the real cry of my heart- I hurt.

I have sought to discover why this is the case. Why does the very thing that puts me in bondage seem so alluring? Why is freedom so foreign? I do not pretend to have answers, but the following is all I’ve come to.

It is my belief that I was born into sin. A captured slave unable to find release. But not really seeking release since slavehood was all I had ever known. This life came naturally enough, and I became schooled in this lifestyle.

Then I met a man who freed me. I was now free to be, well, free. I still return to my old lifestyle now and again, but the choice is mine. A new way of life has been opened to me.

This, I think, is why we believers sometime set up ways of life under the guise of Christianity that are not Christianity at all. The prosperity gospel calls out to me from the TV or pulpit or bestseller- to do in order that God will do. This sounds so good to me. But it is a lie. It is dishonest. It is trading one set of handcuffs for another. The lie puts me in bondage. If I pray harder, fast longer, tithe bigger- then God will bless me. Bondage is natural. We are born into it. Freedom is counter everything I know. It doesn’t seem right.

But that is Christ’s offer- freedom. A life of freedom sounds good, but it is a foreign dance, not easily picked up.

Instead of freedom…I typically desire control. So, when questioned, I’ll answer that I am fine, believing I have tailored your opinion of me. I will read the Bible more and pray more hoping to tailor my blessing.

So, as of late, I have battled myself to be honest with others. Attempting to believe that this is precisely as Christ would have it. Refusing to trade one prison for another.

Galatians recognizes this freedom and the temptation to build myself another prison.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”


Barbie said...

Wow, you are so gifted at putting your thoughts and heart into words. I agree, honesty though painful, is best and the most freeing. I am praying for you and your wife..... May the Lord heal you and yet change you to be more and more like HIM.

olivia and henry said...
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Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Always thought-provoking.

Thank you :)

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Loved reading this - sometimes people will ask how we are, not even pausing for an answer, let alone the real one. But once in awhile, someone will ask and really want to know. When youre honest with those people, healing can begin. xoxoxo

Sarah said...

You're right--"I'm fine" becomes such a burden. I know that all too well in my own life.

Thanks for sharing your vulnerability. You are both in my daily prayers.


Collin and Stephanie Poage said...

Your blog is so beautifully scripted that it's almost intimidating to add a comment. I've proofread this comment three times already... added and deleted... and you don't even know me, so it wouldn't matter if I sounded like a weirdo!... (I found your blog through Ella Mitchell's blog, so if I come across weird, blame the Mitchells!) :)

I want to say-- You and Ginny are so gifted in pouring your hearts out into text. I check your blog often just to hear your hearts, and each time I do, my own heart is sharpened.

Please keep writing... I'll keep reading and praying over your sweet family.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, we love you and miss you and are thinking about you often. Thanks for continuing to put your thoughts on your blog. Since we don't get to see you, it's good to know how you are feeling and how we can pray for you.
love, daniel and laura

Mayhem & Miracles said...

You are in all honesty one of the best preachers I've ever heard. You say what we really NEED to use. Not just what's politically religiously correct. I LOVED this lesson. I know it was hard-won wisdom. And I'm sorry for the pain it took you to carry the message.

bekah phelan said...

I feel exactly like "Collin and Stephanie Poage" -they were able to put into words exactly the way I feel everytime I read the blog, my heart is sharpened! I will keep reading and praying over your sweet family too!!!!