So "one" time my husband and I had a knock-down, drag-out discussion. (Christianspeak for fight.) And in said discussion I made lots of statements that went something like this - me, me, me, me, more me, a little bit more me, and finally some more me. Something to that effect. Can't totally remember now. But I'm pretty sure I was one hundred percent correct, as I often am in my head in the middle of these things.
Do you know a scary thing I heard recently? To be deceived is to be convinced you are right, but actually be completely wrong. And then I read this in my devotional time - For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3)
If anyone thinks something to be true, but it's not, he's (she's) deceived, no matter how sincere that person may be. I can be sincere and still be sincerely wrong. So where am I going with this? I'm not sure exactly.
I think it really just gave me pause because I've been that deceived person many times. Here's another confession that's kind of related. Sometimes I pride myself on my "transparency." But I've found that I'm often selectively transparent.
I can share how I "snapped" (i.e. yelled) at my son but it usually has some pretty bow at the top. And don't get me wrong, by God's grace I try to keep a short record and repent quickly, both to the Lord and to the one I sinned against, including my sons. Several times I've held my baby close and looked him in the eye and told him that Mama's sorry I've been impatient and rude and please forgive me, and in all his ten-month old graciousness he scrunches his nose and flaps his arms and I know all is well again.
But some sins are deeper-rooted than that. And while I can have a moment of losing my temper, repenting, and asking for forgiveness, I've also found that I have deeper anger capabilities than I thought was in me. And while I am always forgiven and continually sanctified by Christ, there's some major heart-work that needs to be done. And I can't get away from the reality in Scripture that God uses the body of Christ in the process.
So here's how this is different (in case I lost you at hello).
Fake Authentic Me - I totally snapped at Micah today. I hate when I do that. The Lord totally convicted me, I had to stop immediately and ask him to forgive me and give me greater grace, and then ask Micah to forgive me.
Ok. All of that is true. All of it. And I mean all of it from the bottom of my heart. But here's the story behind the story.
Real Authentic Me - What is wrong with me??? I find myself getting so angry over the stupidest things, and then I try to scare Micah into obeying and I hate the look on his face and I hate myself when I do it. I know God says that our anger does not achieve his righteousness, so I know that me getting angry is not going to effectively instruct Micah, but my heart is just so much darker than I realized and capable of so much more! I'm terrified that by sharing this that you'll think that I'm always angry or always exploding because that's not true either, but at the same time I'm capable of getting angrier at my husband and sons than I thought was in me. Please pray with me and help hold me accountable in this!
See the difference? Even in the Real Authentic Me it's not totally there yet, because if I were sitting down with my friend over coffee I should share specific instances so that I get away from generalizations and start to get specific. The point is not to be voyeuristic (I hardly know what that word means), but it's this:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
We can't walk in the light if we're holding back little pockets of darkness, and if we're holding back little pockets of darkness then we're not going to have true fellowship with one another. We can walk in the light. We can, my friends. Sin does not have to hold us captive. We can have victory through Christ. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. All sin. The dark, secret sins. The public, humiliating sins. But we purpose, by his grace, to walk in the light, in truth, in transparency, and as we do this, confessing our sins to one another, praying for one another, he brings healing (James 5:16), growth, victory, sanctification, and then he uses those very things to glorify himself and his awesome redeeming power. And then he uses the comfort that we received to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4). As Beth Moore has said, nothing in our lives is wasted. He is able to redeem everything.
But we have to start somewhere. So let's purpose to put away our Fake Authentic Selves and let's walk in the light, as he is in the light, and have true fellowship with one another.