Last week I wrote about the importance of being real and genuine. (You can read the entire post here.) In a nutshell, I said that I feel many people today, including myself, walk around with a virtual mask on. We don’t allow others to see our true selves. This has gotten worse with social media. We want our lives to look perfect and we want everyone to think that we don’t ever struggle.
But I want to make something clear. In that post, I did not mean to imply that we should not grow or change. Quite the contrary. I have dealt with many people, and I’m sure you have too, who have said something like, “This is just how I am. I can’t help it.” They dismiss their weaknesses and never seek to change. We all have room for growth in different areas of our lives.
I have often heard Dr. Charles Stanley say that as long as we are on this earth, God will be molding us to be more like Jesus. And I am so glad for that! I do not want to live my entire life with the same hang-ups and issues. I want to become the best version of myself, the person I was meant to be, the person God created me to be.
The first step is to spend time with the Lord. It says in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” How are we transformed? How do we renew our minds? The number one thing we can do is to read our Bibles every day. When we fill ourselves up with the Word of God, our thoughts are aligned with His. This helps push out the things the world feeds us and the patterns of the enemy. Spending time with God each day is essential.
But we are not an island unto ourselves. We all have loved ones who are a big part of our lives. If we want to grow in our Christian walk, we have to be real with one another. God created us for community. He created us to have relationships and to fellowship with one another. But we can never have a solid foundation in our relationships if we attempt to hide behind a mask, bend the truth, or pretend that we are perfect.
Part of being open with other people means we allow them to see our weaknesses and our brokenness. But we also make it clear that we are working on it and we might even ask for prayer. For example, if someone has an anger issue, I don’t agree with pridefully stating you don’t have a problem and just dismissing it. Rather, when we are real with one another, we would admit our fault and ask our fellow Christians to pray for us.
When we meet one another at a place like this, we build bridges. We can better help those who are hurting. And we can help each other flourish.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” To me this means we help each other become stronger, we encourage one another, we assist each other in growth, and we shine the light of Jesus to those around us.
Note that if you need prayer or guidance about a deep issue, I do believe it’s best to seek this from a Christian who you trust. Your spouse, sibling, parent, a close friend, your pastor, etc. I don’t believe anyone and everyone should spew advice at us and we should listen. Some people will only make matters worse. Pray about this and ask the Lord whose advice is coming from a place of love.
And this doesn’t mean we should change in order to fit in. We should change for the Lord and for ourselves, as we seek to become the best versions of who God created us to be.
My whole point here is to say that none of us are perfect. Yes, God made us all unique. But we all have flaws. We all have areas in which we can learn, grow, and improve. Building a solid foundation with the Lord is vital. But I also believe when we are open and genuine with those close to us, we can help each other grow substantially on the path the Lord has set before us. We can all become our best selves.
© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas
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